Lochhead calls for additional powers

John Devlin 05/04/15. Stock shots of Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs.
John Devlin 05/04/15. Stock shots of Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead met with his UK counterpart Liz Truss last week to discuss a range of issues.

Mr Lochhead pressed for more powers for the Scottish Government, in particular citing the importance of the Scottish Government being in charge of food levies in Scotland, and highlighted the need to up the pace of change particularly on the red meat levies.‪

Mr Lochhead also encouraged Ms Truss to consider the potential for a deposit return scheme across the UK to tackle litter, as well as raising other key priorities including simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy.‪‪

Speaking after the meeting he said: “Now that the Scotland Bill has been published, the debate about the range of additional powers the Scottish Government should receive has stepped up a gear. What’s clear is that the proposals from the UK Government fall far short of what is required to promote the Scottish brand, to create jobs and boost our economy and I have made this point to Liz Truss in our meeting.‪

“One example in my own portfolio where I am keen to ensure we can do more is on food levies. Full devolution of food levies would also prevent the anomalies that exist in current arrangements.

“I also raised the one levy which is under negotiation, the red meat levy, and stressed the importance of moving this on at a faster pace. This will allow money previously taken from Scottish farmers, to be used to market our livestock, instead of being used to promote meat from elsewhere.”