North East MSP Mike Rumbles slammed the Scottish Government today for failing to get to grips with overdue farm payments.
In a reply to Mr Rumbles from the rural affairs Minister, it came to light that staff in Rural Payments worked a total of 3567 hours in overtime between 1st February and 30th April 2016.
Extra staffing costs for the taxpayer rose to £106,377.27 during the period, with overtime expected to continue until all overdue 2015 payments have been finalised later this year.
Mr Rumbles said: “Our agricultural sector is in crisis and the Scottish Government are spending over a thousand pound a day in overtime to deliver farm support that is now months overdue.
“The hard working staff in the Rural Payments department are under extreme pressure to make up ground after the failure of the SNP’s defunct £178million IT system. Meanwhile the Scottish Government refuses to admit that there is even an issue.
“While it’s quite correct that the Minister has apologised to farmers for this catastrophic error he should now also apologise to the Scottish people for wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers money.”