Following the recent announcement by the UK government to keep additional Common Agricultural Policy cash, Norman Leask, SCF’s Parliamentary Spokesman said, “This decision by the UK government can surely only be seen as a political heist. The Scottish Government, with cross-party support, made the reasonable claim that the ‘convergence uplift’, as it is known, should come to Scotland. The only reason that the UK qualifies for the uplift is because of Scotland’s very low payments in the upland areas that bring the UK average down.”
Addressed to the UK Government’s Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson and copied to Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, a cross-party letter followed a recent debate in the Scottish Parliament where MSPs agreed that the UK’s full uplift should come to Scotland in its entirety. A recent announcement by the UK government rejects this claim.
Mr Leask added “We just want what is rightfully ours. Passing the up-lift payments on to Scotland does not incur any deductions to farmers in the rest of the UK. Allowing the money to come to where it is needed, the areas that bring the average payment down and therefore qualify for uplift would be fair. There is simply no argument that can justify keeping this cash (which is meant to bring average payments up to somewhere closer to the European average) in UK areas that are already at that level or above. The Scottish upland areas have ‘earned’ this uplift and this is where it should be spent.”