Rural Economy And The Environment
- The Agriculture and Rural Economy (ARE) Directorate of the Scottish Government's purpose is to influence, develop and implement innovative policies in partnership with our customers and stakeholders to grow the rural economy and maximise the social, economic and environmental benefit for rural Scotland. In doing this we provide income and support to rural business, farmers and crofters. We are Scotland's Paying Agency for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Around £3.9 billion worth of payments (Direct CAP Payments and Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP)) will be paid over the 6 years period of CAP 2015.
- 2018-19 has been a year of progress. The Scottish Government met the regulatory target of making 95.24% of 2017 scheme year CAP Pillar 1 payments by 30 June 2018 and the Single Application Form (SAF) application process for the 2018 scheme year ran very successfully from 15 March to 15 May 2018. Improvements have also been made in relation to delivery of CAP Pillar 2 payments with the majority of targets set out in the 2017 CAP Stabilisation Plan achieved. Preparations for EU Exit have been made, guided by the Scottish Government's consultation on Stability and Simplicity in rural support, published in June 2018, which set out plans for a managed transition between 2019 and 2024 and a policy of minimal change in relation to IT development. However, precise requirements for future IT capital expenditure will depend on the nature of wider EU Exit outcomes. There are also a significant number of legacy systems still to be decommissioned and migrated to the RP&S Digital Platform to reduce risk and increase efficiency.
- Scotland's climate is changing, and there is a need to adapt to this change to support sustainable economic growth. Over the last century temperatures have increased, sea levels have risen and rainfall patterns have changed, with increased seasonality and more heavy downpours. These changes are projected to continue and intensify over the coming decades. We can expect future changes in climate to be far greater than anything we have seen in the past, and this of course needs to be taken into account when making infrastructure investment decisions.
- Flooding is one of the greatest climate risks in Scotland. In order to support flood risk management, the local authority capital settlement includes £42 million a year identified as being available for flood protection schemes. Funding is allocated to individual schemes, which meet the eligibility criteria agreed by Scottish Ministers and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities leaders group. This supports the delivery of the priorities set out in the Flood Risk Management Strategies published in December 2015.