13 NEW ENTRANTS
13.1 Question 6.3 asked "The Inquiry has identified with regret that under the Health Check regulations there is no route available to provide historic SFP to new entrants who have started farming since 2004. Do you have any views on how such new entrants, within EU rules could be helped?"
13.2 Seventy respondents provided an answer to this question. There was no clear pattern in responses across sectors.
13.3 Eleven respondents commented that the current system is unfair on new entrants and highlighted the importance of this issue. Four respondents also noted that it is unclear how new entrants can be accommodated within the existing system.
13.4 Twelve respondents noted that a move to area based payments would be beneficial to new entrants as it would end the existing entitlement to historic payments and extend eligibility for payments to both new land and new entrants. A further 6 respondents commented that the new scheme would cater for all.
13.5 A number of specific suggestions were made as to how new entrants within the European Union ( EU) rules could be helped. Those cited by more than one respondent included:
- New entrants should receive Single Farm Payments ( SFP) as soon as possible or before the start of the transition to area based payments (mentioned by 6 respondents);
- The provision of additional finance in the form of cheap loans, interest relief loans, additional support for capital works or support through integration between agricultural support and other economic development support (5 respondents);
- Exploration of how Scottish Rural Development Programme ( SRDP) funding could be used for new entrants (4 respondents);
- Access to a National Reserve for new entrants (4 respondents);
- The potential for new entrants to be included in Article 68 proposals (3 respondents);
- Providing a siphon on sales of SFP entitlements (3 respondents); one of these specifically suggested the introduction of a siphon to traded entitlements to enable a national reserve to be set up;
- Using unclaimed Top Up Fund ( TUF) payments (2 respondents, both Individuals).
66 respondents (44% of the 149 who responded to the consultation) answered Question 6.3, providing comments on how new entrants could be helped under the new scheme. Some respondents noted that the move to area based payments will benefit new entrants (12) or that the new scheme will cater for all (6).
Specific suggestions for helping new entrants included:
- New entrants should receive SFP as soon as possible, e.g before the transition to area based payments (6);
- The provision of additional finance such as cheap loans etc (5);
- Use of SRDP funding (4);
- Access to a National Reserve for new entrants (4).