Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has backed NFU Scotland in the call for clarity over when local farmers and crofters will receive essential support payments.
NFU Scotland has written to the Scottish Parliament’s lead committee on rural affairs to express its concerns. Liam McArthur MSP has thrown his weight behind the call for the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee to hold an extraordinary session in which to establish the anticipated timeline for payments to be made in Scotland.
Despite Scottish Government statements to the contrary, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur shares the concerns of NFU Scotland that CAP support payments under the new Basic Payment Scheme might not be delivered in the normal December window.
Liam McArthur MSP has backed NFU Scotland’s call for Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead to make a public statement on when farmers will receive their payments.
Commenting, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“For months now, farmers and crofters in Orkney have been asking if direct support payments will be paid before the end of the year. Given the changes introduced under the reformed CAP, it is all the more important that these crucial payments are made on time.
“Unfortunately, the Cabinet Secretary has not been clear about the likely timetable for releasing these funds. Indeed, over recent weeks, the deadline appears to have been sliding backwards. Fears are therefore growing within the farming community, including here in Orkney, that payments will not be received until 2016. For many, this would cause serious cash flow problems and knock-on difficulties for the supply chain.
“The Agriculture Secretary needs to stop ducking and diving about when he expects payments to be made. The NFUS is right to be asking the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs Committee to step in and I hope that Committee members can now help by getting a clear answer from the Scottish Government about payment deadlines”.