Farmers given loans worth more than £294m after severe weather

Farmers have been given loans totalling more than £294 million in a government scheme to combat the impact of severe weather.

The Scottish Government announced the National Basic Payment Support Scheme in August and since then more than 99% of those eligible have received their offer.

Loans are offered of up to 90% of what farmers are due as part of their Basic Payment Scheme 2018 payments, which would not usually be made until December.

The loan amount will be offset against this payment, with the remainder being paid later.

A total of 12,643 rural businesses have received their loan since payments began in early October.

Fergus Ewing MSP
Fergus Ewing MSP

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I am pleased to confirm that nearly all eligible farmers, crofters and land managers have now received a Basic Payment Scheme 2018 loan offer, with over 12,600 farmers being in receipt of more than £294 million since payments began in early October.

“Directly supporting the rural economy, these payments have been made earlier than ever before, at a greater level than in previous years, and ahead of any other administration across the UK, demonstrating my absolute commitment to get payments out to eligible farmers as soon as possible.

“Payments continue to be made on a weekly basis, so I would encourage anyone who has yet to accept a loan offer to consider it carefully and respond as quickly as possible.”

A similar scheme was set up in 2017 which gave loans of more than £317 million to more than 13,500 farmers.