Assurance sought on Croft Funding Threat
22 May 2009
Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP is seeking assurance from the Scottish Government over a threat to the future of crofters eligibility for the Less Favoured Areas support scheme.
Mr Peacock has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead expressing his concerns.
Mr Peacock said: "Crofters could be set to lose out because of potential changes in Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS), which is linked to the completion of Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) forms.
"'Yes' and 'No' tick-boxes have appeared on the IACS form this year asking if the responder's common grazings shares are being used. There is no explanation as to why this question is being asked.
"If a crofter ticks the 'No' box and their in-bye is below 3ha they could have the potential to lose their LFASS payment, despite the fact that they may be keeping their grazing share in good order.
Mr Peacock added: "Crofters have not been told what the consequences may be of ticking either box.
"The Government must assure people they are not about to excise from croft size the `share' of the common grazing that is an integral part of their holding and thus potentially take many below the 3 ha threshold and lead to the loss of LFAS."
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