Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur today warned that the Scottish Government’s much troubled farm payment system was still affecting farmers in Orkney. Figures revealed that 492 farming businesses are still waiting to receive CAP funding from the 2017 funding round, including 15 in Orkney.
In response to a parliamentary question, the Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing confirmed that 217 businesses in the Highlands and Islands and 149 in the South of Scotland were still to receive 2017 CAP basic payments. There are dozens more in the North East and Mid Scotland & Fife.
Responding to the news, Mr McArthur said:
“The Scottish Government’s costly mishandling of farm payments over recent years has well documented. Having spent £180m on a new IT system, it appears that there is still no end in sight to the problems.
“Despite repeated promises, the Minister has now confirmed that hundreds of farmers across Scotland, including many here in Orkney, remain affected by payment delays.
“The practical effect of this is that the rural economy has been denied essential funds year after year. Amid all the uncertainty at present created by Brexit, this continued failure to provide confidence about payments is the last thing farmers in Orkney or elsewhere in Scotland need”.