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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-08897: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 20 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government by what date all less favoured area support scheme (LFASS) payments to crofters and farmers will be made.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 11 May 2017

We have also taken steps to alleviate further financial uncertainty by agreeing to provide national loans in respect of 2016 LFASS payments, and loan offer letters have started to go out.

We aim to clear the remaining 2015 LFASS payments, and start processing LFASS 2016 payments, as soon as possible. We are striving hard to deliver the enhancements needed to the complex IT functionality and other steps necessary to support this aim.

The Scottish Government very much regret the delay in processing LFASS payments and the impact on affected businesses. We have processed 85% of LFASS 2015 claims worth over £52 million to almost 9,700 farmers and crofters, prior to national loan scheme recovery. There are around 1,700 claims worth £1.6 million, where no balance due following loan recovery, leaving approximately 1,700 still to process.