SNP’s failure of support compounds reducing farm incomes

Scottish farm incomes have fallen by 8 per cent according to latest statistics.

The Total Income from Farming Estimates for Scotland 2016-18, show that estimated incomes have fallen by £57 million to only £672 million in 2018.

The figures also show that in addition to the fall in farm incomes, input figures are rising and productivity has fallen for the third year in a row.

Lastly, the figures demonstrate that the profitability of farming is still heavily dependent on subsidies, as total subsidies accounted for 82 percent of the total farm incomes.

The Scottish Conservatives have said that the lack of productivity and ongoing reliance on subsidy is a clear manifestation of the general challenges the sector faces.

Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative shadow secretary for rural economy and connectivity said:

“These results highlight the general and specific challenges faced by Scottish farmers.

“The SNP has failed to give farmers any certainty over a future farm support system and failed to tackle the winter feed crisis in particular.

“In addition productivity has fallen for the third year in a row. While this can be explained to some extent by poor weather last year, this trend indicates an ongoing productivity issue.

“What is abundantly clear is that Scottish farmers have not had the support or certainty they need from the SNP.

“The SNP must stop dithering and publish a support system for Scottish farmers that enables them to adapt and thrive for the long term.”