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Scottish Govt Approves QMS Levy Increase Plans

by 5m Editor
21 December 2009, at 11:50am

SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish Government has today approved plans for increasing levy charges collected by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs said, "After carefully consideration I have decided to approve the increase in QMS levy rates, the first increase since 2001 for cattle and sheep and since 1999 for pigs. This decision will allow QMS to continue its pivotal role in further promoting the profile of Scottish beef, lamb and pork at home and abroad and fund ground-breaking research projects. The red meat sector will reap the benefits from greater investment in the promotion of its outstanding and world famous quality produce.

"As part of its business planning process for 2010-11 and beyond, I have asked Donald Biggar, QMS Chair, to explore further the scope for achieving efficiency savings. I know how important it is for levy payers to have an assurance that this will be the case and I am pleased such a commitment has been given.

"Looking to the future, I have also written to Hilary Benn requesting that we discuss urgently how a more equitable distribution of the levy can be achieved by focusing on the point of production, which could result in an extra 3900,000 revenue for Scotland per year. I have also instructed my officials to further explore opportunities for increasing the volume of Scottish sheep processed here in Scotland rather than down south."

The increases which come into effect from April 2010 are:

  • Cattle 93p
  • Pigs 21p

Levy rates have remained unchanged since 2001 for cattle and sheep, and since 1999 for pigs. During that period inflationary erosion coupled with reducing numbers of livestock produced in Scotland have impacted on QMS's spending power from levy.

For every 31 of cash which QMS receive from levy-payers during 2009 a further 24p was generated from sources including Government and EU through co-funding and partnership working.