Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed Fergus Ewing’s announcement on the planned distribution of convergence money in which he included a cap on maximum receipts and the distribution of an extra £10 million brought forward for crofters.

“It is good to hear from Mr Ewing that the first tranche of the convergence rebate will be paid by the end of March, with a much-needed cap on the basic payment element,” said SCF chair, Yvonne White.

"This will ensure that more of the money goes to where it is supposed to and will prevent excessive payments to individual businesses. The intention of convergence was to bring payments up for those currently receiving below average amounts, not a bonus for those who already get high payments.”

Ms White went on to say, “The extra £10 million in this tranche won by SCF for crofters will be very welcome for those on Region 2 and Region 3 grazing and the distribution is well balanced with most going to Region 3, which has notoriously low basic payments.

“It has been a hard fight for us to try to get the convergence rebate to be distributed in the true spirit of convergence, but Scottish Government has listened and gone some way to modifying how the convergence money is used; this should be acknowledged. SCF will continue to press for a fair and principled use of the rest of the convergence rebate,” concluded Ms White.