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Call For Red Meat Levy Return to Scotland

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Call For Red Meat Levy Return to Scotland

Call For Red Meat Levy Return to Scotland
August 07
12:03 2013

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has written to UK Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to finally put a stop to DEFRA’s current arrangement of the red meat levy, which sees Scottish farmers lose £1.4 million each year. The First Minister renewed calls for the UK Government to implement a policy to repatriate the levy income paid by Scots livestock producers which is spent in England and Wales due to a flaw in current arrangements.

The red meat levy is currently allocated to the promotional bodies on the basis of where an animal is slaughtered, not where it is raised. With so many Scottish lambs and pigs now going to English and Welsh abattoirs this results in £1.4 million in lost levy annually for QMS (Quality Meat Scotland).

The First Minister’s letter comes after repeated representations made to DEFRA ministers in the current and previousWestminsteradministrations by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead to have this policy changed went unanswered.

Scottish Government figures show that real term farm income has only now recovered after the devastating BSE outbreak in the early 1990s. Despite Scottish farmers producing record gross output value, input costs have also hit record highs, particularly in feed, fuel and fertiliser.

The First Minister said the figures demonstrates the urgency of action needed over this ‘outdated’ levy system, which result in monies currently spent in England and Wales used to promote world class Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork .

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