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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21725: John Scott (Ayr)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 19 February 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it paid out under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) in (a) 2014, (b) 2015, (c) 2016 and (d) 2017.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 26 February 2019

Please see the following summary of Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) payment amounts for each year requested.

Year

LFASS Payments total (£)

(a)2014

65,196,182.98

(b)2015

64,459,059.97

(c)2016

49,580,401.38

(d)2017

76,122,791.28

LFASS claims are normally paid the year following the claim, e.g. any 2014 claims will be paid from April 2015 onwards, therefore most of the 2014 claims would have actually been paid in the 2015 calendar year.

The fact that the LFASS payment total for the 2016 calendar year is slightly lower than other years relates to the slower processing of 2015 claims following the introduction of the new Rural Payments & Services IT system.

These delays resulted in a significant proportion of 2015 LFASS claims actually being paid in the 2017 calendar year instead of the intended 2016 calendar year.

Any negative impact as a result of this delay was minimised with the introduction of the National LFASS loans initiative, which began in March 2016.