With no guarantee on the future of support for Scottish farmers post-Brexit, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP has announced plans to deliver £580 million through the Common Agricultural Policy for as long as it applies to Scotland.
While maintaining payments at the maximum permitted level for the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme will offer stability for crofters in the most rural and remote areas.
Last month, Mr Mackay also outlined plans to commit more than £74 million to the Rural Enterprise budget, which funds Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership.
Farmers, crofters and a number of rural development projects will also gain support from a £35 million investment in Scottish Government’s Rural Services.
Funding support of £5.9 million for Scotland’s marine and coastal communities will also help encourage employment, innovation and investment in communities.
MSPs will vote on the proposals next month.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said:
“With this inept UK government incapable of offering any assurances to Scotland, the Finance Secretary’s draft budget proposals will come as welcome news for businesses and communities in rural and island North Ayrshire.
“While dragging Scotland out of the European Union, the Tories have proceeded to sell-out rural Scotland – placing jobs, businesses and livelihoods at risk in the process.
“It is important to get behind the Finance Secretary’s plans and secure much needed support for our rural communities in this time of deep uncertainty.”