Date lodged: 24 April 2017
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will confirm how much it has committed to spend through the Beef Efficiency Scheme in light of a freedom of information request in March 2017 suggesting that the figure was £8.2 million and an article in the Scottish Farmer in February 2017, which reported that it was £32 million.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 11 May 2017
Regrettably, an administrative error occurred in the preparation of the reply to the FOI request referred to in the question. The £8.2 million figure provided for BES commitment should in fact have been £28.2 million. We are contacting the FOI correspondent to clarify.
Further work has been done since then to refine the overall total, including both committed and estimated expenditure, which now stands at around £25.4 million. The reduction from the total quoted in the Scottish Farmer is due to several factors including an expectation that the cost of providing advisory services to scheme members will not consume as much of the overall budget as previously estimated.