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Livestock Farmers (Financial Assistance)

Volume 972: debated on Thursday 25 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state what assistance he intends to provide for livestock farmers who face additional costs as a consequence of the effect of bad weather on winter keep production.

I propose to pay grants to farmers and crofters on the Scottish Islands related to the quantities of hay, straw and concentrates purchased from the mainland and consigned or delivered to them between 1 October 1979 and 31 January 1980. Separate rates have been calculated for each of these commodities for each of the main islands and are shown in the table below. The maximum rate of grant will be £15 per tonne and the total cost is not expected to exceed £500,000. Parliamentary approval to this new service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for Agricultural Support (Scotland) Vote. Pending that approval, the necessary expenditure will be met by repayable advances from the Contingenies Fund. I anticipate offsetting savings in the Agricultural Support (Scotland) Vote and do not expect any increase in planned expenditure for 1979–80.In addition, my Department will take a number of steps to assist producers in the islands and also on the mainland in the former crofting counties. These include:

  • (a) payment of 75 per cent. of the claims for hill livestock compensatory allowances for 1980 for that area will be expedited with the balance to follow after the usual, more formal, checking.
  • (b) relaxation of the normal departmental rules regarding—
  • (i) payment on animals missing from holdings on the qualifying day for hill livestock compensatory allowances;
  • (ii) the carrying through of development plans under the farm and horticulture development scheme;
    per tonne)

    Straw (£)

    Hay (£)

    Concentrates (£)

    Orkney and Shetland Islands15·0015·0015·00
    Western Islands—
    Lewis and Harris11·009·0011·00
    Uists and Barra14·0011·0014·00
    Coll and Tiree11·009·0011·00
    Other rates will be applied in respect of claims from producers in the smaller islands where additional charges have been incurred.