Farms still to receive 2017 CAP payments

Fergus Ewing MSP.
Fergus Ewing MSP.

Nearly 150 farm businesses are still to receive their 2017 payments under the CAP Basic Payment Scheme in the south of Scotland.

The figures, revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question, showed that 149 farm enterprises are still due their BPS payments, which accounts for nearly a third of the delayed payment total (492).

Cabinet secretary for the rural economy, Fergus Ewing, announced earlier this year that the Scottish Government had hit the target of 95% of payments made by the June 30 deadline. The government says the remaining payments are more complex cases which take longer to resolve.

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “It is simply unacceptable that farmers are having to wait for payments well after the payment deadline. Years after the CAP IT fiasco, the impact is still being felt.

“Many farmers across Scotland face substantial financial losses, and recent extreme weather patterns have exacerbated the problem. Farmers have been in contact with me about delayed payments, so I have heard first-hand the problems they are facing. Mr Ewing said that the IT system that caused the mayhem in the first place is fully operational; this is simply not the case. The farming sector is experiencing very difficult economic times, as we all know, and farmers deserve better than this.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “While over 95% of payments were made ahead of the deadline, as in any year there are a number of complex cases that take longer than anticipated to resolve and may require additional confirmation from the farmer or crofter. We aim to resolve these more complex cases as quickly as possible, and are continuing to support farmers affected by adverse weather conditions with advance payments.”