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Union Calls on Scottish Government to Meet Payments Deadline

Officials must deliver on 15 October commitments made to Audit Committee

NFU Scotland is looking for Scottish Government to draw a line under the 2015 CAP payments debacle by ensuring all eligible farmers and crofters receive what they are due by the 15 October.

In giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Audit committee last week on the CAP Futures programme, Scottish Government officials indicated that payments to those involved in private contract clauses or had been subject to inspection or were cross-border claims were imminent.  

During evidence an official said: “We should start paying the inspection cases…, which are affected by the private contract clauses, next week, and we would expect to start paying the cross-border cases from the end of next week or the beginning of the week after. That puts us in a good place to complete the vast majority of those cases—with the financial value that remains outstanding—by 15 October.”

It is estimated that 209 applicants have still to receive a final 2015 instalment and 401 have still to receive a CAP payment.

Payments made under Scotland’s livestock headage schemes and as part of Scotland’s Rural Development Programme (Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme and Agri-Environment) are not subject to the commitment given to deliver payments by the 15 October deadline.  The Union estimates that more than £20 million remains outstanding from these schemes.

NFU Scotland’s Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “The strain on those businesses who have only received some and in some cases none of the CAP funds that they were due for 2015 has been enormous.  

“Last week’s session of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit committee critically examined officials over when every last 2015 payment will be delivered and the middle of October is the date by when it will be paid.  

“We have to get a line drawn under this sorry debacle.  All outstanding claimants need to be paid by that date.  

“Should this not be met, then the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit committee must not hesitate in pulling the same officials in front of it again.  Farmers and crofters need to know that those responsible are rightly held to account.”

Notes to Editors

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 231/16


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