McAlpine welcomes new Cabinet Secretary’s focus on CAP payments

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Joan McAlpine has welcomed the new Rural Affairs Secretary’s pledge that CAP payments will be his “first and foremost priority.”


Speaking in Parliament yesterday Mr Ewing apologised for the delays farmers have faced and assured members that the Scottish Government was doing everything in its power to sort it.


Most farmers received the majority of their entitlement by April this year.


Mr Ewing said:


“On behalf of the Scottish Government, I address three simple words to all farmers and crofters who have suffered as a result: we are sorry. Let me follow that up with four further words: we are fixing it.”


“Progress has been made, and I can now say that most farmers and crofters should have received most of their due payment. By the end of April past, all eligible farmers should have received a substantial payment worth around 80 per cent of their estimated entitlement.”


The UK Government has also faced substantial difficulties in relation to late CAP payments – caused by a new IT system.


The UK is currently facing £180 million fines over farm subsidy delays.


Commenting Ms McAlpine said:


“The move to a new IT system has caused delays to CAP payments and made it very difficult for farmers over these last few months – I am very pleased that the new Cabinet Secretary has pledged to tackle this as his main priority.


“I hope the Tories will stop playing politics and welcome this move given that their own UK government has faced the same difficulties.”