• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

CAP revamp sees the demise of payments for 'slipper farmers'

A new package of measures to support farmers, aimed at improving the way EU payments are distributed, has been announced.

It includes the removal of payments for so-called "slipper farmers", who do not use land for agricultural purposes, measures to further support sheep farmers and beef producers, and a cap on direct farm payments.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead detailed how the new Common ­Agricultural Policy (CAP) - the EU system of subsidies for farmers - told MSPs the package would not please everyone.

He said: "Some farmers, who were disadvantaged under the old CAP, will finally move towards a level playing field. Others will see their payments go down."

Land with no agricultural activity will be removed from the payment regime, with sporting estates to be excluded from receiving direct farm payments unless they can prove they are a genuine farm business.

Basic direct farm payments will also be capped at about £400,000 per year after labour costs to address the issue of huge individual payments.

Mr Lochhead also announced a £45 million three-year beef improvement scheme, and a "coupled support scheme" for sheep producers.

Labour welcomed the measures to tackle slipper farming and sporting estates.

David Johnstone, ­chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "Scottish ­farmers have been seeking clarity and now everyone will be able to start planning for the future with a little more certainty."

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.