Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP today highlighted that there would be no need for the Scottish Government's quarter of a billion pound loan scheme were it not for the SNP botching the EU farm payments systems.
His comments come as Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing announced a £254 million loan program to help farmers to bridge the gap caused by the collapse of the the government's payment handling and IT system. This is the third year such a scheme has had to be put in place.
Mr Rumbles said:
"Last year a quarter of farm businesses in Scotland decided not to take part in the Scottish Government’s National Basic Payment Support Scheme, leaving hundreds of millions in government coffers that should have been supporting the rural economy.
"Farmers did this because after years of poor management and a series of needless blunders, they had no trust in the Scottish Government's ability to deliver these payments without even more errors.
“The Government have failed at every turn and now we are facing a third year of farm payment failures. With such a disastrous record it’s no wonder farmers don’t trust the Rural Economy Secretary to deliver."