Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesman Mike Rumbles MSP today slammed the SNP government over their handling of EU farm payments after the Farming Minister confirmed that the failure of a crucial IT project led to overtime costs of almost £4m in the last 18 months.
In a letter to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP confirmed that a botched IT system to manage farm payments had cost £178m. Of this, £6.37 million was staff overtime, with $4.12 million of this incurred over the last 18 months.
Commenting, Mr Rumbles said:
“Farmers were forced to wait for months to receive crucial farm payments while overtime payments spiralled. These figures are staggering and lay bare the cost of this botched IT project.
“The legacy of this shambles is businesses out of pocket and a breakdown of trust between farmers and the Scottish Government at a time when there is real uncertainty in the sector over Brexit. This is the time that farmers need to have confidence that ministers will work in their best interests. How can the sector trust the SNP to deliver for them now?"
Notes to editors:
The letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural, Economy and Connectivity to the committee can be found here