CAP allocation is fair, says DEFRA

England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will all bear the same 12.6% cut in their allocation of the CAP budget, the government has confirmed.

The announcement by DEFRA on 8 November means Scotland’s bid to have a larger share of the €27.6bn CAP budget over the next seven years has been rejected.

The department said it made the decision after extensive consultation.

DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson said: “We’ve worked closely with farmers and ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make sure that this is fairly allocated across the UK.”

But the Scottish Government was left fuming.

It had lobbied for Scotland to get all of the UK’s €230m (£194m) convergence uplift payment – extra funding paid to compensate disadvantaged agricultural areas.

A statement by the Scottish Parliament said that farmers north of the border would be deprived of hundreds of millions of euros in European subsidies that was rightfully theirs.

Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead added:

“This is a disgraceful budget settlement for Scotland’s farmers and crofters and confirms our worst fears. It condemns Scottish farmers and crofters to the lowest CAP payments in Europe and completely disregards both the cross party demands in the Scottish Parliament and the wishes of the European Union.

“The whole reason the EU brought in the convergence uplift was to benefit those farmers with the lowest per hectare rates, and the only reason the UK qualifies is because of Scotland’s low payments.”

Mr Lochhead said: “The standard method for calculating payment allocations in Europe is the average per hectare amount and any other method invented by UK ministers to deny our farmers a fairer share is nothing more than a red herring.”

Budget allocation. Who gets what?

Over the next seven years, England will receive a pillar 1 or direct payment allocation of about €16.421bn, and a pillar 2 allocation of about €1.52bn.

Scotland will receive a pillar 1 allocation of about €4.096bn, and a pillar 2 allocation of about €478 million.

Wales will receive a pillar 1 allocation of about €2.4bn, and pillar 2 allocation of about €355 million; and Northern Ireland will receive a pillar 1 allocation of about €2.29bn, and a pillar 2 allocation about of €227 million.

This means that each administration will only be subject to an equal percentage cut on pillar 1.

Having taken account of the views of the devolved administrations, DEFRA said it believed this was the most appropriate way to split the settlement across the UK.

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