EU rejects LFA safety net

By Fwi staff

SCOTLANDS rural development minister, Ross Finnie, has failed to win EU approval to maintain the safety net for the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme at 90% for next year.

The safety net was introduced this year to ease the transition from headage to area-based payments.

Mr Finnie had said he would seek EU approval to allow this to be maintained at 90% for 2001-02, 10% higher than previously agreed.

But on Wednesday, EU farm commissioner Franz Fischler formally rejected the proposal, for fear of setting a costly precedent.

NFU Scotland president, Jim Walker, said: “We cannot allow this decision to be the end of the story and we expect the Scottish Executive to deliver on its promises of solutions.”

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