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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD WELCOMES COMMITMENTS IN SNP FARMING MANIFESTO

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Scottish National Party has set out its ambition for Scotland’s rural communities as Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham and SNP MEP Alyn Smith pledged to protect Scotland’s rural jobs at the launch of the SNP’s Manifesto for Rural Scotland.

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed the manifesto commitment for SNP MEPs to work with and for Scotland’s farming communities in the fight over direct payments, CAP reform and Less Favoured Areas.

SNP MEPs will continue to speak for Scotland on ongoing issues such as sheep tagging - where the SNP has led the campaign against EU plans.

Welcoming the farming manifesto, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The SNP’s track record in serving Scotland’s farmers over the past two years in Government has been second to none.

“For example, following discussions with farmers at New Deer Show with local MP Alex Salmond, the SNP’s farming manifesto in 2007 promised a truly independent subsidy appeals system. John Kinnaird was tasked with leading the review and the Scottish Government has accepted his recommendation of an independent system.

“On this, and a whole range of other issues such as waiving charges imposed by SEPA for disposal of sheep dip and water abstraction, promises are being delivered on because these policies are what farmers are telling the SNP they want to see implemented.

“I’m therefore confident that the pledges in our Euro-Election manifesto will find similar support in the industry.”

Commenting at the manifesto launch, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said:

"Scotland's agriculture industry is a huge asset to this country. It lies at the heart of our rural communities and supports jobs from Shetland to Selkirk.

“Working with communities, the SNP Scottish Government has invested around £200 million in our rural economy through our rural development programme, supporting thousands of jobs in rural Scotland and we have taken action to support Scotland’s quality produce through our national food strategy.

“SNP MEPs alongside Scottish ministers, will make sure those priorities are heard in the European Parliament, the European Commission and by the UK Government.”

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who has been Scotland’s only full member of Europe’s Agriculture Committee during the last Parliament added:

"Scotland has very different priorities to those being pushed by politicians at Westminster, particularly when it comes to how our rural communities should be supported financially.

“As we undertake a review of the Common Agricultural Policy in the next Parliament, a strong voice for Scotland is more necessary than ever.

“A vote for the SNP on June 4th is a vote to protect Scotland’s jobs and rural communities.”

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