Scottish Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine has called for an end to the ‘disgrace’ of late and missing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments for farmers after confirmation that only a quarter of those entitled will receive them before the New Year.
Ms Jardine, who is the candidate in Aberdeenshire East, has also backed calls to improve information and communication with farmers amid criticism from the industry of a helpline set up by the SNP Government.
She said: “Tens of thousands of jobs across Scotland, many of them in Aberdeenshire, are supported by these payments and the delays in distributing the initial installments will have serious repercussions in the run-up to Christmas.
“For those farmers who may have to wait until Spring for full payment the effects could be catastrophic. And the impact will ripple out through our rural communities and industry affecting everyone from machinery and foodstuff suppliers to general retailers.
“Farmers have waited months for clarity on the Scottish Government’s plans. Its simply not good enough. Now we have reports that the much vaunted helpline launched last week is of little use.
“Our farmers need more from the Scottish Government and they need it now.”