Conservative MEP: EU clears way for early payments to farmers, Lochead must act
Dr Ian Duncan MEP has called for the Scottish Government to immediately make EU payments to farmers after the European Commission confirmed they would not stand in the way. Writing to Environment Secretary Richard Lochead MSP, Mr Duncan stressed that the failure to release this money was only adding to the already long list of farmers' woes.
In his letter, Dr Duncan stated:
"Poor weather, low prices, issues with the Scottish Government's computer system and uncertainty over CAP payments have all conspired to create real concern within the industry.
"To address the serious issue of cash-flow problems affecting Scottish farmers, the Scottish Government must bring forward the early release of CAP payments."
Dr Duncan also reminded Richard Lochead that there is no legal restriction on the CAP funds being released early, speaking of the "bewilderment" exhibited by Commissioner Hogan upon hearing of Mr Lochead's claim that the CAP funds could only be released at the end of the year.
On Mr Locheads failure to release these funds, Dr Duncan writes:
"That is not good enough and therefore I would ask you to look again at the offer made by the Commissioner and give farmers a commitment to do everything possible to get money into their bank accounts as early as possible.
"It's time to get the money into the hands of farmers."
Notes to editors
1. Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland and Chair of the ECR Policy Group on the Rural Economy.
2. Dr Duncan's letter to Mr Lochhead is attached
Contact Andrew Johnston
Head of Office, Ian Duncan MEP