Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser, has called on the Scottish Government to provide clarity for farmers with outstanding applications to the New Entrant Scheme that prematurely closed this summer.
The New Entrant Scheme provided funding for would-be farmers trying to enter or set up a business for the first time. Scotland’s National Farming Union has called the move disappointing and has criticised the Scottish Government for removing vital funding.
Murdo has called on the Scottish Government to provide assurances for applicants stuck in the submission process and has called on St Andrews House to provide clarity over what is likely to replace the fund.
The average age of a farmer in Scotland is 58 and new entrants are required to keep the sector afloat.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“Young farmers trying to get into the industry will not thank Fergus Ewing for his answers today. His bizarre rant about support for English farmers will do little for the new entrant in Perthshire with an application still outstanding to a fund he has just closed.
“Ultimately, the average age of a farmer in Scotland is 58 and the industry needs new entrants and new talent to survive. Closing off financial support to these people is not a good idea.
“Unfortunately the Scottish Government has provided absolutely nothing for farmers stuck in the application process and has yet to provide any information on what, if anything, will replace the new entrant scheme. This is not good enough.”