§ Mr. John Mackay
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements he is making for payment of the 500,000 European units of account provided by the EEC Commission for emergency aid to producers in the Scottish islands.
§ Mr. Younger
In the light of discussions which my officials have had with the EEC Commission and with the National Farmers Union of Scotland, I have decided that payment should be made to farmers and crofters on all the Scottish islands based on the number of cows and ewes carried. In order to speed up payment and to keep administrative costs as low as possible, payments to occupiers who qualify for hill livestock compensatory allowances will be based on the numbers eligible for these allowances at 1 January 1979. In other cases the latest available information will be used. The total sum available is approximately £325,000; the rates of payment will be £2.30 per cow and 35p per ewe. Payment will be made early in the new year from the Commission funds already received.
Parliamentary approval to this new agency service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Agricultural Support (Scotland) Vote.