21 April 2000

EU unhappy at Scottish plans for HLCA pay-out

SCOTTISH plans for paying out the new Hill Farm Allowance have run into trouble in Brussels, with the commission unhappy at the way the money is being targeted.

The formula drawn up by the Scottish executive attaches too much weight to the amount farmers historically received under the old Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances.

Not enough attention has been given to the environmental aspects.

"Commission guidelines say the new payments should not be linked to historic receipts, as they are obliged under WTO to break the link with production," said one Brussels source.

The Scottish executive has until the end of June to come up with a new scheme, more in tune with the commissions thinking. &#42