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, what its position is on Audit Scotland's statement in its document, Common Agricultural Policy Futures programme: further update, issued on 15 June 2017, that funding the National Basic Payment Scheme loan from its financial transactions budget puts this budget "under additional pressure", and what the consequences of this are.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 20 February 2018
The 2016 Loan Scheme was funded via financial transaction loan recoveries from the LFASS 2015 scheme as well as from emerging underspends identified throughout the financial year.
Financial Transaction and capital support was increased at budget revision which represented the available budgetary provision at that stage of the financial year for the loan scheme.
The further support provided following budget revision was identified via the monthly financial management process whereby emerging underspends were directed towards pressure areas. Additionally, further financial transaction budget allocations as part of Scotland’s Block Grant settlement support this and other government priorities.
As a result of this and active management of requirements across the whole of the Scottish Government, these loans have not led to pressures on the financial transactions budget.