Rennie calls for new rural affairs secretary after SNP CAP payments disaster

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said there is no way that the First Minister can keep Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead in his post following repeated delays to vital EU payments.

Farmers and crofters have been hit by extended delays to Common Agricultural Policy payments as a result of the failure of a Scottish Government IT system. Mr Lochhead was informed of potential problems with the £178m IT system before the referendum but waited for months before warning farmers that payments could be delayed.

It also emerged during the election campaign that farmers receiving support from an emergency Scottish Government scheme could face punitive interest charges.

Willie said:

Richard Lochhead knew about potential problems with the new IT system before the referendum but told farmers nothing until the middle of last year. He left farmers struggling for months before introducing an emergency payments scheme that could see businesses clobbered with unfair interest charges as a result of the government’s incompetence.

There are only so many mistakes a Minister can make before their position becomes untenable. Richard Lochhead is now beyond that point. There is no way that the First Minister can keep him in his post and he should be replaced. It is time that we got a Rural Affairs Secretary who will deliver for farmers and crofters.

Of course, replacing Lochhead on its own isn’t enough. The SNP need to sort this out. Upsetting the people who produce our food is never a good thing.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Jeff
    Marco 12th Apr '24 - 10:01pm: The right wing media dont bother to defend Brexit anymore... As someone who reads across the political spectrum ...
  • Katharine Pindar
    What a refreshing discussion started by William, warning but also encouraging us. I think we can go strong on climate change policies, as you suggest, William -...
  • Simon McGrath
    “ Technically speaking, Israel is a democracy” Well yes. Alas Israeli’s have elected a dreadful government but the key is they elected them. And yes it...
  • David Allen
    Chris Moore, I'll be delighted if the party can prove me wrong!...
  • Chris Moore
    @David Allen: Paul Marshall is long gone from the party. Social Liberalism is the dominant current of thinking . You'd need to back up your slightly cyni...