The Scottish Government’s rural affairs Minister has come under fire from North East MSP Mike Rumbles after failing to live up to his pledge that there would be ‘no repeat’ of the 2015/16 CAP debacle.
On the 31st May 2016, the newly appointed Minister, Fergus Ewing, said ‘The farming industry needs to have confidence in the payment timetable and that we will do what we say. There must be no repeat of the problems that were faced in 2015-16’.
Following a damming report from Audit Scotland of the Scottish Government’s handling of the crisis, published yesterday, Mr Rumbles asked the First Minister in the chamber today whether she believed that Mr Ewing had fulfilled his promise.
Mr Rumbles said: “The Minister inherited a complete mess from his predecessor and promised that things would be different under his leadership. They are not, in fact they are worse.
“Our rural communities have lost all trust in this government to deliver on their promises and every day more and more damage is done to our rural economy. The First Minister should hold her head in shame over her government’s utter failure to get to grips with this situation.
“The rural affairs Minister’s coat is now on a very shoogly peg. Many farmers have still to receive their allowance for last year and we are only weeks away from amassing millions of pounds in late payment fines. We need to see progress now.”