CAP payments: Richard Lochhead announces new funding to help farmers affected by delay

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 12 February 2016 in News

Ministers face fierce criticism from farmers over delays to CAP payments, caused by IT problems

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has made £20m available to help farmers access loans while they wait for delayed Common Agricultural Policy payments to be administered by the Scottish Government.

Ministers have faced fierce criticism from farmers over delays to CAP payments, with well over half of recipients still awaiting payments despite farmers having being promised they would receive funds by the end of January.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson yesterday claimed the SNP’s handling of the issue meant “the First Minister has lost the trust of rural Scotland”.


SNP's handling of CAP payments has lost it the trust of rural Scotland, says Ruth Davidson

Carbon Capture and Storage: UK Government approach in "direct contradiction" to energy policy

Speaking at the National Farmers Union of Scotland annual conference, Lochhead said: “I fully recognise the cash flow issues facing Scottish agriculture as a result of difficult market and weather conditions coinciding with the biggest CAP reform ever.

“The Scottish Government continues to do everything in our power to get first instalments out to as many people as we can by the end of March and the balance of payments as soon as possible after that.

“We are making progress. However the extreme complexity of the policy we agreed with industry in Scotland – which is being delivered by a brand new IT system that we are constantly working to improve - means it is taking longer than expected to process applications – and I am aware that as a result some farmers and crofters are facing hardship.”

The Government said it has already deployed additional staff to area offices and moved to processing applications seven days a week to help address the delay.

Conservative MEP Ian Duncan said: “Mr Lochhead has been repeatedly warned for over a year that his plan for delivering basic farm payments was bound to fail. His excuse that it is 'complicated' does not wash with farmers. 

“To take until the second week of February to apologise for the debacle, and then offer a Government-backed loan, is simply not good enough. Farmers want the money which is sitting in the Scottish Government bank account, not loans.”



Related Articles

What does Brexit mean for the fishing industry?
21 March 2018

Eurosceptics and fishing groups have expressed anger at the UK Government's approach to Brexit, but what will leaving the CFP mean for the industry?

SNP backs plans to introduce licensing on shooting estates
5 December 2017

Delegates at SNP national council back a motion calling for the SNP to come out in support of establishing a licensing system for driven grouse estates as part of efforts to...

Fergus Ewing urges UK government to "come clean" on plans for fisheries policy after Brexit
10 November 2017

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claims the UK Government has not honoured promises to share information on the progress of Brexit negotiations

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page