Date lodged: 31 January 2018
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-13951 by Fergus Ewing on 29 January 2018, whether the National Basic Payment Scheme loans are funded from the Scottish Government's financial transactions budget; what percentage of this budget has been used for these loans in each year since they were introduced; what other uses there are for this budget, and whether the requirement to establish and continue this loan scheme means that there is less money available for other projects that would otherwise use the financial transactions budget.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 20 February 2018
Loans for the 2015 and 2016 National Basic Payment Scheme Loans were made in financial year 2016-17. £53.5m or 14.5% of the total financial transactions budget for the year was provided to the Loan Scheme, identified from emerging underspends throughout the financial year prior to Spring Budget revision. Remaining funding for the Scheme was provided via recycled recoveries of LFASS 2015 loans in 2016-17 as well as emerging underspends following Spring Budget revision.
For financial year 2017-18 a net budget of £5m is available to support loans to farmers comprising £70m of financial transactions budget which equates to 16.8% of the total financial transactions budget, offset by capital income budget relating to prior year recoveries, with any additional support required identified from emerging underspends.
Support for loans is provided via the monthly financial management process whereby emerging underspends are directed towards areas which require them.
Any remaining loans will be recovered in 2018-19 and be available to support financial transaction loan activity in 2018-19.