Tavish Scott slams SNP’s “slap in the face” to Scottish farmers

You really could not make it up. Farmers have been struggling for months because of delays in getting their CAP payments to them. For months the failures of an £178 million IT system have stopped farmers being paid, causing them serious cash flow issues.

The SNP Government, after too long, issued them with emergency cash advances.

If those advances turn out to be more than the payment they were due, it has now emerged that farmers will have just 7 days to repay the difference or be charged a whopping rate of interest.

Given that they are in the mess they are in purely because of a catastrophic IT failure by the Government, this seems very unfair. Of course, there will be no interest payments on the delayed payments to farmers.

Tavish Scott, Lib Dem candidate for Shetland and former Deputy Finance and Transport Minister, is also a farmer and understands exactly how this will affect farmers. He is understandably furious, telling the Press and Journal:

This is another slap in the face for farmers who have already been left out of pocket by the utter failure of the SNP to get to grips with the CAP payment fiasco.

Farmers and crofters have already paid dearly for the Scottish Government’s IT shambles.

Now they have been told that they could face interest payments on a scheme that would not have been necessary if (Rural Affairs Secretary) Richard Lochhead had done his job in the first place.

It’s hard to imagine how the SNP could have made a dire situation worse, but they have. Here where I am in the Highlands, this is not going to go down well with farmers.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • David Evans 6th Apr '16 - 3:17pm

    This is very bad news for farmers and as Tavish says “is another slap in the face for farmers who have already been left out of pocket by the utter failure of the SNP.” The question is can we make use of this to
    a) help out the farmers and
    b) gain enough votes to keep our seats in the Scottish parliament.

    The opinion polls say we are in a dire situation in Scotland. This sort of thing should be a godsend … so long as we have the ability to use it.

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