Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today branded the Scottish Government an “agricultural aberration” after it was revealed that weeks after the deadline for payments to be made, almost 1 in 5 farms in the Highlands had still not received all their EU farming payments.
In response to a parliamentary question from Mr Rumbles, Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing revealed that 906 farms in the Highlands had still not received payments. Meanwhile Aberdeenshire had 194 farms with payments outstanding and the Northern Isles had over 100.
Mr Rumbles said:
“It will come as no surprise to anybody familiar with this shambles that weeks after the payment deadline hundreds of farmers are still out of pocket.
“Farmers across the Highlands & Islands and North East are fuming at the Scottish Government’s handling of these lifeline payments. It has been an agricultural aberration.
“Going forward the Cabinet Secretary must produce detailed plans for farming communities to scrutinise which explain how catastrophes like this will be prevented from occurring again.”