Decisions going local

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LAST night another two pieces in the CAP jigsaw were put in place and in both the final decision will rest with the Scottish Government. The first deals with the maximum amount of cash any farmer can receive, with Europe saying it was up to member states or regions to decide.

George Lyon MEP welcomed the devolved decision-making but warned the Scottish Government against introducing such a policy. “With Scottish farmers enjoying the second highest payments in Europe under the historic payment system, in my view it would be utter folly to introduce capping in Scotland as it would signal that we accept the principle of discriminating against bigger farmers,” he said.

The other decision will allow up to 15 per cent of direct subsidies to be transferred to the rural development budget without the need for any matched funding from the government. For those governments wanting to move in the opposite direction, a similar percentage of the budget can be moved.