North East MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson on rural affairs, Mike Rumbles, has panned the Scottish Government’s rural economy minister for failing to deliver a programme of support for agricultural funding after Brexit. Despite a unanimous vote on the matter 20 months ago.
During questions in the Scottish Parliament today the Cabinet Secretary announced his intent to ‘bring forward a motion which will allow us to debate the principles to underpin Scotland’s future farm policy’ despite an amendment lodged by Mike Rumbles and passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament on 19th January 2017 to develop ‘the principles and policies for rural support beyond 2020’.
Mr Rumbles said: “The Scottish Government’s record on delivering rural support payments for farm businesses has been shameful and the Cabinet Secretary’s statement today beggars belief.
“It seems that all the warm words and promises, almost two years ago, meant very little to the Cabinet Secretary. Instead of using that time to develop a new system of payments that works to the strengths of Scottish agriculture, the Scottish Government has done absolutely nothing to progress the situation.
“The debate today only confirms that the Cabinet Secretary is more occupied with picking fights with his counterpart in the UK Government than making the most of one of our most important exports.”
Notes for editors:
- MSPs from all parties, included the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, backed an amendment lodged by Mr Rumbles on the 19th January 2017 calling on the Scottish Government to begin to develop a plan for farm payments post 2020:
Motion S5M-03463.2: Mike Rumbles, North East Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 18/01/2017
The Future of Funding for Rural Development - As an amendment to motion S5M-03463 in the name of Fergus Ewing (The Future of Funding for Rural Development), insert at end “, and calls on ministers to establish an independent group involving relevant stakeholders to provide advice as to the principles and policies that should underpin options for appropriate rural support beyond 2020, and, in the intervening period, provide as much certainty and information as possible to farmers, crofters and the wider rural economy.”