BBC Northern Ireland are headlining this story:
Northern Ireland’s rural communities could be more than £30m worse off if a funding row with Westminster is not resolved. It could affect a range of projects that create jobs, improve the environment and help with social cohesion. It relates to budget commitments made by Treasury to the authorities in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. They have now been told the money promised may be reduced.
The cuts to Scotland’s rural communities will be greater so surely?
The news seems remarkably difficult to find. I got it in the industry online newsletter agriland:
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:
“NFU Scotland has always been crystal clear that in the post-Brexit era, Scottish farmers and crofters must have access to the same quantum of funding as they had under the CAP.
Conservative manifesto pledges in 2017 and 2019 recognised that the sector should not be disadvantaged financially by Brexit. We call on the UK government to ensure that this week’s financial spending review honours that commitment.
“A shortfall of the order of £170 million for Scotland, as indicated in the joint letter from Devolved Administrations to Secretary of State George Eustice, is wholly unacceptable and will significantly disadvantage farmers and crofters as we enter a potentially chaotic and turbulent post-transition period.
4 thoughts on “BBC Scotland less informative than BBC Northern Ireland”
Maybe the bbc Ireland have informants in RTE who stay in touch with Europe stuff? 😉
The EU is important to NI. When I was last there two years ago, I was struck at how factual and informative the BBC NI equivalent of Reporting Scotland Badly is. There were, routinely, several items in each broadcast about matters in the Republic.
The exposure of the uncertainty and threat to Scotland’s rural economy at this time from the Tory government must be awkward for the newly appointed tourism and rural economy spokesperson for the Tories in Holyrood, Jamie Halcro Johnston. He is the third Tory to hold this role in the past year – Tory supporters in rural Scotland must be wondering if it’s something they’ve done to deserve this!
In a ‘soft’ profile piece in the Scottish Farmer following his appointment on 24 October, we are told this by Mr Halcro Johnston:
““The Scottish Government has left behind too many parts of Scotland over the last 13 years and, as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands, I know only too well the impact that has had on a region the current Central Belt focused government in Edinburgh simply doesn’t understand.”
Note this lazy assertion which seeks to tar the Scottish Government with deliberate neglect of the Highlands and Islands. Time to give the evidence, Mr Halcro Johnson if you are to have credibility beyond your narrow, rural Tory base.
Mr Halcro Johnston should – but won’t – reconsider his claim of SG neglect of the Highlands and Islands when he learns of this news in the Scottish Farmer today: “Scottish food and drink producers have welcomed a £5 million fund to help the sector prepare for Brexit in the wake of the Covid pandemic.”
‘Scotland’s farming union welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment: “…. This investment from Scottish Government in the food and drink sector give us the opportunity to bolster domestic sales and fulfil our ambition to increase exports of our high-quality food and drink offering abroad,” said NFUS chief executive Scott Walker. “This will help create jobs and opportunities which is vital for our recovery during these uncertain times.
“The funding will give impetus to the 50-point Recovery Plan, a collaboration between farmers, fishermen, industry and Scottish Government. The plan will help in creating a more resilient farming sector through profitable growth while making an even greater contribution to a fairer, greener Scotland,” he concluded.’
Does this look like the actions of a Central Belt focused government in Edinburgh that simply doesn’t understand? Mr Halcro Johnston needs to do better in making his party’s pitch for votes in the Highlands and Islands I think but then the benchmark set by his predecessors is not very high! So he may well be good enough for Tories: they seem to be a forgiving group when it comes to the party’s politicians.
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