Images: Bennachie hill range from the skies
‘The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a disaster, essentially a £50 billion welfare system for the landed gentry and other big landowners across Europe. You would think that leaving the EU could actually be a positive thing for agriculture. Free from the shackles of CAP, we might get a fairer system. Right?
‘A UK agricultural policy that doesn’t subsidise the rich’ – Alex Scrivener
50% of Scotland’s hill farmers only survive thanks to Working Tax Credits, the CAP payments IT system has buckled, becoming a processing shambles, and overall debt levels in the farming sector have reached a record high. At the beginning of December 2016 it emerged that another blunder had occurred issuing farm subsidy payments. Farmers and crofters have been overpaid during the UK Government’s £300million cash advance loan scheme.
http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/08/29/responsibilities ‘Responsibilities’ – Alec Finlay
Scottish tenant farmers call for sale of Highland sporting estate to be put on hold
https://theferret.scot Loophole in bid to punish landowners for killing birds of prey
Doffing caps, Tillypronie Estate Trusts received £385,279 from CAP in 2014 for “first afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land”. The 6000 hectare estate in Aberdeenshire is up for sale, complete with grouse moors and valued at £10.5 million.
A Scottish land owner has claimed £3 million in CAP subsidies from the European Union last year – more than anyone else in the UK. Frank Smart owns land near the town of Banchory on Deeside. He is what’s known as a ‘slipper farmer’, buying farms along with their subsidy entitlement, and then leasing them out to be farmed by tenants.