The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has learned that crofters are being informally warned by government officials to not expect the full ewe hogg payment as the scheme is over-subscribed.
SCF vice-chair Russell Smith said, “We have been told that the ewe hogg scheme has far more applications than were originally expected due to larger upland farms having retained greater numbers of hoggs than they would usually in order to get the payment. This is their right of course, but it means that the money that was touted as the ‘top-up’ to the dismal basic payment on rough grazing of around £7 per hectare will be watered down. This was to be expected surely – if Scottish Government offers payments on a headage basis then crofters and farmers retain more eligible stock. It is an obvious consequence of subsidy manipulation.”