Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today blasted the SNP Government for its inept handling of Scotland’s agricultural sector, leaving thousands of farmers “struggling to make ends meet”.
Official statistics published today show that the average farm business income fell by almost 50% last year. Since a peak in income in 2010-11, commercial farms’ income has decreased 75 per cent in real terms.
Over a third of farm businesses reported a loss and more than half reported income roughly equivalent to the minimum agricultural wage.
Mr Rumbles said:
“The Cabinet Secretary should immediately appear before Parliament to explain how his department will be turning this disastrous situation around.
“Farm businesses and rural communities have been forced to endure years of bungling and neglect, now we can see the mess that the Scottish Government has left in its wake. If the former Cabinet Secretary had not already been replaced I would be calling for his resignation. The current one need to get a grip of this situation right now.
“Incomes have collapsed under this SNP Government and farmers are struggling to make ends meet. Despite market prices tumbling, ministers have cut support to farmers and bungled millions of pounds worth CAP payments in a manner that makes the term ‘mess-up’ look exceedingly generous.”