MSP welcomes news on LFASS payments

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, has welcomed an announcement by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, that payments under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) will be made by the end of March.

This will help further support those crofters who are still awaiting Basic Payment Scheme funds.

Mr Allan said: “It is well known that, in the face of the most complex reform of CAP payments, there have been significant difficulties in matching the previously excellent track-record of early payments to crofters and farmers.

“Recognising this, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs has already put mitigation measures in place, establishing a £20M loan fund for those affected crofters experiencing cash-flow difficulties at this time, and drafting in additional staff to work through the backlog of payments.

“While over half of crofters have now received the first instalment of their Basic Payment Scheme payments, crofters clearly have the right to receive payments soon. Advice to crofters still experiencing difficulties remains to make themselves known to local offices and to contact the dedicated helpline on 0300 300 2222.

“However, I am further encouraged to note that the Cabinet Secretary has committed to ensuring £55M worth of LFASS payments will be delivered to crofters during March - using national funds to minimise any prospect of further delay.