Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days
Already a Member?

Login | Join us now

Scotland's May elections - what are the main parties' rural priorities?

On May 5 voters will take to the polls for the Scottish Parliamentary elections, but who is promising what for agriculture and the country’s rural communities? Olivia Midgley assesses the five key party manifestos.


Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook

Scotland’s political parties may have been criticised for neglecting rural policy in recent televised debates, but their manifestos have sought to allay voters’ fears that, if elected, they are each determined to get the best deal for rural Scotland.

 

Unsurprisingly, key manifesto pledges have been made on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), land reform and promoting fairness in the supply chain as well as increasing the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

 

However, improving connectivity and rural broadband and reducing the regulatory burden on farmers have also featured heavily in most of the party documents.

 


Read More

Scots seek assurances over UK Treasury funding Scots seek assurances over UK Treasury funding

Scottish Labour Party

Scottish Labour Party

The party said the food system was 'not working as it should' and called for a new a Health, Food and Farming Act to benefit Scottish agriculture

 

Regulation and CAP

  • Retain the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board and establish a statutory Scottish Food Commission, incorporating Food Standards Scotland.
  • Review 'botched' BPS roll-out
  • Deliver reductions in agricultural climate change emissions
  • Protect animal welfare legislation
  • Establish a specific police unit to tackle wildlife crime
  • Review the future of National Parks to protect them and consider options for establishing a new National Park.

 

Land reform

  • Improve the legislation, including mechanisms which will ensure land in Scotland is registered within the EU
  • Support crofters by 'empowering' communities

 

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Scottish National Party (SNP)

The party said if re-elected, it would fight for CAP simplification, a fairer share of the budgets for Scotland and for greater flexibility in how it is delivered.

 

Regulation and CAP

  • Support productive and sustainable agriculture, target activity, support new entrants, protect farming and crofting on Scotland’s hills and islands and also focus on the ‘dysfunctional supply chains’ and markets which deny primary producers a fairer return from the wider food and drink industry’s success.
  • Improve the payments system
  • Continue campaigning for the UK Government to release the £190 million CAP convergence funds to Scottish farmers
  • Continue the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme

 

Food and drink

  • Ensure Scotland’s fair share of the red meat levy goes to promoting Scottish produce
  • Build on success of Scottish Food and Drink Export Plan

 

Land reform

  • Make more publicly owned land available to new entrants to farming and implement the regulations in the Land Reform Act to create an improved tenanted sector
  • Take forward proposals to modernise and improve powers for compulsory sales orders
  • Establish Land Scotland, a new land agency for Scotland, to maximise the benefits of publicly owned land to the nation
  • Commit to a target of 405,000 hectares (one million acres) of land being in community ownership by 2020

 

Crofting

  • Continue to provide public support for the continuation of crofting
  • Introduce a new entrant’s scheme, explore the creation of new woodland crofts and publish a National Development Plan for Crofting
  • Continue support for croft housing grants and reintroduce the Croft House Loan Scheme
  • Crown Estate to be kept as an ongoing entity until further public consultation

 

Scottish Conservative Party

Scottish Conservative Party

The Conservatives unveiled plans to address the Scottish Government’s failed IT system which resulted in major delays to BPS payments.

 

Regulation and CAP

  • Demand an immediate independent inquiry into late BPS payments
  • Fight for a good deal for Scottish farmers and farming tenants
  • Make GM policy decisions based on science

 

Land reform

  • Continue to reject Absolute Right to Buy
  • Change 1991 tenancy assignation provisions to a conversion model to allow secure tenants convert into at least 25-year limited duration tenancies and then assign for value
  • Introduce planning system exemptions to allow retiring farmers or new entrants to build a home on agricultural land
  • Support improved transparency of land ownership
  • Support community empowerment, but not to the extent of prioritising community ownership over good land management
  • Support opening the Scottish Land Fund to long lease funding for communities

 

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats

The party laid out plans to ‘restore confidence and timeliness’ to BPS and extend super-fast broadband and modern mobile phone coverage to business in all parts of Scotland.

 

Regulation and CAP

  • Restore competence and timeliness to agricultural payment schemes for farmers and crofters
  • Guarantee to increase the resources deployed in advance of future rounds of CAP
  • Establish an immediate restitution scheme to compensate farmers who incurred excessive banking costs because of the delay in their CAP payment

 

Food and drink

  • Continue to reform procurement rules to encourage purchase of local food
  • Press for increased powers for the GCA

 

Land reform

  • End the ‘one-size-fits-all’ system operated by the Crofting Commission
  • Devolve the functions of the Crown Estate from Edinburgh to local communities

 

Other rural priorities

  • Extend super-fast broadband and modern mobile phone coverage using additional support from the Fit For The Future Investment Fund

 

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

UKIP said a vote to leave Europe would allow more flexibility in delivering farm payments and reducing European bureaucracy.

 

Regulation and CAP

  • Introduce a modified Single Farm Payment (SFP)
  • Give farms the freedom to choose their own crops and remove any requirement regarding crop rotation or crops planted
  • Simplify the qualification and evaluation criteria for SFP
  • Relax greening rules
  • Abolish excessive and unnecessary EU regulation and directives, keeping only those necessary to protect the environment

 

Food and drink

  • Remove unnecessary EU restrictions which make small local and mobile abattoirs unviable
  • Support research into GM foods, including research on the benefits and risks involved to the public. Allow a free vote in Parliament on commercial cultivation

 

Land reform

  • Abolish the current Scottish Land Reform Bill and replace with a new Act based on historic freedoms and individual liberties

 

Scottish Green Party

Scottish Green Party

The party’s manifesto included few rural pledges, but it said EU subsidies were vital for Scottish agriculture.

 

Key pledges

  • Direct European funding for agriculture to support sustainable land management
  • Enhance local food sovereignty
  • Improve competition law to regulate supermarkets
  • Continue to oppose GM crops

 

Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS