Farmers and crofters who had a reduction and/or penalties to their 2015 support claims are now being contacted by the Scottish Government informing them of the reasons.

These letters are being issued in relation to the Basic Payment Scheme, Greening, Young Farmer, or Less Favoured Area Support scheme. ScotGov has reassured NFU Scotland that farmers and crofters who receive the letters will not be subject to any further reductions on claims and that these letters meet a requirement to provide a breakdown of why a reduction or exclusion was made in 2015.

The union has since noted that this is the first time that ScotGov has informed claimants in writing about why they had deductions in the 2015 scheme year and presents opportunity for claimants, if they disagree with the rationale put forward by the Department, to appeal the decision.

As such, NFUS is urging all those who receive a letter, either electronically or in the post, to read the detail, and contact their local RPID office if they have any queries. If, after discussion with RPID officials, claimants disagree with the decision as detailed, then they have the right to submit an appeal.

Read more: Reductions and exclusions letters for 2015 Pillar 1 payments on route to farmers

NFUS members looking for further guidance on such an appeal are encouraged to contact their regional manager or group secretary.

Union vice president Andrew Connon said: “Receiving an exclusion or reduction letter from Scottish Government relating to claims made in 2015 will be worrying and confusing for some and could have been better explained.

“But we welcome reassurance from Scottish Government that no further reductions are to be made and that the letter fulfils a requirement to provide detail on why the deduction or exclusion was made at that time.

“If you do receive a Reductions and Exclusions letter, please take time to read the letter and the explanation as to why you have received it. Check through your records and if you are unhappy with the information, or need more detail, then you or your agent should, in the first instance, contact your local area RPID office to discuss. After discussion with RPID officials, if you do not agree, or are unsure about the reductions or exclusions, then you have the right, within 60 days, to appeal.

“If you need any further support or guidance, do not hesitate to contact your NFUS regional manager or group secretary.”