Stevenson welcomes national loan scheme

Stewart Stevenson MSP has welcomed the loan scheme.
Stewart Stevenson MSP has welcomed the loan scheme.

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a new loan scheme which will provide certainty for farmers and crofters over winter 2016 and seek to inject up to £300 million into the rural economy, safeguarding jobs and local agricultural businesses.

Farmers and crofters will be able to apply for a loan of 80% of their CAP Basic Payment and Greening 2016 entitlement, up to a maximum of €150,000 and receive their loan payments in November.

Farmers will not have to wait until 2017 to receive payment of their CAP entitlement. Letters will be issued before the end of the month to farmers inviting them to apply. Everyone who applies by the deadline of 12 October will receive a loan of 80% of their entitlement in November.

Details of the nationally-funded loan scheme for CAP Basic Payment 2016 were unveiled by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing.

Mr Stevenson said: “Having learned lessons from the 2015 round of CAP payments, the Scottish Government is determined to provide as much certainty as possible – not just for farmers and crofters, but for the wider economy in rural communities like the North-east.

“Over 17,000 businesses across Scotland, including many in the North-east, will be entitled to qualify for this loan initially, with work continuing to make offers and payment to the remaining eligible businesses by the end of the year.

“I would therefore encourage everyone eligible to apply for this funding, which will give our farmers and crofters the security and certainty they need to enable them to plan for the year ahead while driving forward the rural economy.”