Welcome measures announced in the Scottish Government budget

Press Release

Increased support for peatland restoration and additional funding for tree planting and woodland creation were among the measures announced in the Scottish Government’s budget welcomed by SLE yesterday.

The budget heeded the call of SLE and other stakeholders to support our agricultural sector, with additional support for farmers and crofters in our most rural and isolated communities through CAP payments and the Less Favoured Areas support scheme (LFASS).

In her budget speech the Cabinet Secretary for Finance Kate Forbes also outlined welcome support for small businesses, called for by SLE. Including the continuation of the Small Business Bonus Relief and the extension of non-domestic rates relief for the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Sarah-Jane Laing, Chief Executive of SLE said:

“There are many positive announcements in the budget to help Scotland’s rural economy. The additional support to help Scotland’s landowners, land managers and rural businesses play their full part in the green recovery is a real win for SLE lobbying. We have long argued that afforestation and regeneration of peatland are key if Scotland is to meet its ambitious climate targets.

“We welcome the continued support for the hospitality and leisure sectors through the small business bonus relief. These sectors have been hard hit by the COVID crisis but remain the economic backbone of many of our rural areas.

“We are pleased to see the Strategic Business Fund increased and with the doubling of the Discretionary Fund for Local Authorities. We urge the Government to go further in this area and ensure that no businesses are left behind by offering greater clarity regarding available support and broadening access to support funds.

“The support in the budget for farmers and crofters in our most rural communities is welcome. We call on the Government to offer them every support to follow sustainable practices and every assistance to help them thrive at this challenging time.”