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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S5W-34726

  • Asked by: Alasdair Allan, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 21 January 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fergus Ewing on 22 January 2021


To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the early payment of Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) funding this year, whether it will provide an update on when and how convergence 2020 money will be distributed.


I am very pleased that LFASS 2020 payment runs commenced 2 months earlier than 2019 system payments, continuing our pattern of improvement. LFASS payments go to nearly 11,000 of our farmers and crofters, but because of EU rules the 2020 payment is only 40% of the 2018 rate. I promised previously that we would find a way to make up that shortfall.

Therefore, I can announce that we are now in a position to start paying out the £71.8m of convergence 2020 money. These payments will start to appear in bank accounts by the end of the month and will benefit around 18,000 farmers and crofters. The distribution methodology to be used is similar to last year and has been agreed with stakeholders. Further details will be available on the Rural Payments website. This money rights a historic wrong and will help to support our farmers and crofters through these challenging times.