No action needed for majority of farm ‘loans’

NFUS policy director Jonnie Hall. Picture: Contributed
NFUS policy director Jonnie Hall. Picture: Contributed
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Despite the complicated explanatory letter, the vast majority of farmers who have recently received notification that they will soon be paid their less favoured areas support scheme (LFASS) payment need take no action.

That was the message from NFU Scotland yesterday, as the union explained that the Scottish Government had legal obligations to comply with EU legislation, making the inclusion of confusing technical detail necessary.

“The main thing is ensuring that it delivers 90 percent of the £65 million budget to the sector by the end of the month as planned,” said the union’s director of policy, Jonnie Hall.

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“In terms of operation, we understand that as it is a national scheme, Scottish Government must charge notional interest as it is essentially an advance.”

However, he said that the Scottish Government had confirmed that the authorities would cover any interest charge.

And while this might count as state aid, only people who had received more than €15,000 – over and above their normal support payments – would have to take action.

“In short, for the vast majority, there is no action needed and support from the national fund should arrive in a few weeks’ time,” Hall said.