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SNP must “up its game” when it comes to paying farmers
The SNP must “up its game” to ensure farmers receive well overdue CAP payments before the end of March, the Scottish Conservatives said today.
The CAP payment crisis started with a £200 million botched IT system which civil servants have been struggling to put right.
Now official Scottish Government figures reveal there are still more than 10,000 payments outstanding and only 7,887 farmers have received payment out of a total of 18,300.
The figures show less than 1,000 payments were made last week which brings the total farmers paid up to around 40 per cent.
But with 60 per cent of payments still outstanding it now it is looks increasing unlikely that the promised payments will not be made before the end of March.
And yesterday, Ian Duncan MEP raised fresh concerns that hill and sheep farmers will not receive Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) payments totalling £65 million on time.
These payments were due to be made in the first week of March; however farmers have not heard anything from the SNP government on whether this deadline will be met.
Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson said:
“The SNP government must up its game on CAP payments because farmers across Scotland cannot afford to be even further out of pocket.
“With 60 per cent of payments still outstanding and around 1,000 payments being paid each week, there is no way the SNP are going to be able to pay all farmers by the end of March at the present rate.
“From the start the CAP payment fiasco has been a crisis for our rural communities. Farmers have been waiting on this money, many are now in financial difficulty and it is all down to a botched IT system. This is a shambles entirely of the Scottish Government’s own making.
“Farmers now need assistance, many are struggling and the Scottish Government needs to be getting on with the job in hand, instead of trying to divert attention by obsessing about a second independence referendum.”

Good news for Scotland’s economy despite SNP ‘spreading doom’ on Brexit

Good news for Scotland’s economy despite SNP ‘spreading doom’ on Brexit

Unemployment has fallen substantially both in Scotland and the UK, despite the SNP “spreading doom” on the impact of Brexit.

New figures have revealed the number of people looking for a job north of the border has fallen by 14,000, while wages are also on the rise.

It means the unemployment rate fell to just 3.9 per cent for the period between June and August this year.

The UK-wide unemployment rate also fell considerably, and now stands at only four per cent.

The Office for National Statistics said pay rose by 3.1 per cent in the last quarter, outstripping the inflation level of 2.5 per cent.

The improved position comes despite the SNP relentlessly warning about the consequences of leaving the European Union.

Only yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke in London to speculate about the impact, and reiterated her desire to reverse the June 2016 vote.

However, the Scottish Conservatives have now told the SNP government to stop the scare-mongering, and start examining the opportunities which will be presented once the Brexit process is complete.


Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart said:

“For all the Brexit-related scaremongering from the SNP, it appears the economy both in Scotland and the rest of the UK is performing well.

“This is in the face of an SNP government which is refusing to examine the opportunities of Brexit, and using it only to spread doom and rabble-rouse for independence.

“These figures do fluctuate, but this encouraging news at least suggests there could well be a good future for Scotland’s economy once we’ve left the European Union.”




Notes to editors:


The statistics were released this morning:

Sturgeon’s Brexit intervention all about independence

Sturgeon’s Brexit intervention all about independence

Nicola Sturgeon’s latest intervention on Brexit is motivated solely by the break-up of Britain, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Speaking in London today, the First Minister reiterated her desire for the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union to be ignored, or at least for the UK to remain in the single market and customs union.

She also claimed any concession made to Northern Ireland should apply to Scotland.

However, Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said the SNP leader’s only reason for intervening was to push the case for another referendum on Scottish independence.

He pointed out there was nothing new in today’s speech, or indeed the accompanying paper being published by the SNP government.

Ms Sturgeon’s speech came on the same day as a new campaign for Scottish independence was launched.


Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said:

“There was absolutely nothing new in this speech from Nicola Sturgeon.

“As ever, she is not intervening for the sake of a good Brexit deal, or for the good of the Northern Ireland border issue.

“She made this speech in the hope of drumming up the prospects for Scottish independence.

“From the second the Brexit vote became clear, that has been the SNP government’s only motivation on this issue.

“If the SNP doesn’t back a deal, it is automatically supporting a no-deal scenario – something the nationalists have admitted would be bad for Scotland.

“And, of course, they don’t care if outcomes are bad for Scotland, so long as they’re good for the prospects of another independence referendum.

“This was just the latest opportunistic contribution from Nicola Sturgeon, whose behaviour on the Brexit process has been selfish and utterly shameless.”


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