The Scottish Government Minister’s mismanagement of CAP subsidies could leave Highland farmers with hefty interest repayments.
A failed Scottish Government IT system led to £200million worth of estimated loans being made to farmers across the country. Now farmers are being told they will have to pay interest eight times the UK base rate on any overpayments.
Angela MacLean, Scottish Parliament candidate for Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch and Highland Councillor, said: “Farmers across the Highlands will feel very let down by the Scottish Government.
“They should take responsibility for their failure to issue correct CAP payments instead of passing on the interest to local farmers.
“At the mart in Dingwall last week farmers used words like ‘contempt’ and ‘disregard’ to describe the Scottish Governments actions.”
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross Candidate, and Tain Councillor, Jamie Stone added: “This is a low blow, even for a Government who shows no interest in delivering for the Highlands.
“They simply must get their act together and deliver these payments with no loss to our rural economy.
“Penalising farmers for the irresponsible handling of payments is wrong, the Scottish Government should own up and take on any interest accrued.”
Notes for editors:
· Please contact Jamie Mackie on 07515003008 for contact details for some local farmers.
· A failed Scottish Government IT system worth £178million forced the SNP administration at Holyrood to pledge £200million for cash advances.
· Farmers whose hardship payments end up exceeding the sum they are entitled to under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will have to pay the difference at 4.2%