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CAPPING SCOTLAND'S farm subsidy payments at £100,000 would free up £54 million that could be spent supporting the country's new entrants.

Wading into the debate on the future of the CAP, veteran land reform campaigner Andy Wightman has questioned the fairness of a system that pays nearly half of Scotland's total farm subsidy cash to the 'top 10%' of its farmers.

The CAP reform option of putting a top limit on the amount received by individual farm businesses could, argued Mr Wightman, be used to redistribute cash to the farmers at the back of the subsidy queue – and the power to do so could soon be in the hands of Richard Lochhead.

"If capping is to be left to member states to decide, then which way will Richard Lochhead and the Scottish Government decide to proceed?" asked Mr Wightman in his online blog. "In Scotland, the amount of farm subsidy paid to the top 50 recipients increased from £22m in 2008, £24m in 2009, £27.6m in 2010 and £35m in 2011.

(For the full story see The Scottish Farmer this week, Fabruary 23, 2013)

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