Galbraith estimates that up to 4,000 farmers have been subject to a deduction or an exclusion to their Single Application Form (SAF) 2015 claims. Now, following a six year delay, the Scottish Government is to allow farmers to appeal for 2015, if they think their payments were incorrect.
Stewart Johnston of Galbraith in Aberdeen said:
It’s very good news for farmers and landowners. We have raised the issue in the past and we are aware of many cases where the exclusion seems arbitrary. For some farmers the amount deducted runs into five figures.
Galbraith reports that the technicalities which may result in an area of land being excluded from SAF would include ineligible land covers, crops or invalid seasonal let agreements. However, some deductions were made in error by RPID.
Farmers have 60 days from receipt of the letter to submit an appeal to the rural payments department. The department should then reply within 60 days, accepting or rejecting the appeal and specifying the grounds.
Stewart Johnston continued:
“Some farmers are well aware that the deduction has been applied incorrectly, while others may not be. We advise everyone to look out for the letter from RPID and consider whether they should make an appeal.”
Galbraith manages or advises on over 3.5 million acres of farm, forestry, and estate land in Scotland and northern England.