NFU Scotland has urged MSPs to use the opportunity to challenge Scottish Government officials over the flawed delivery of CAP support in 2015, and to seek assurances on what is being done to deliver 2016 payments.
The Union also urges MSPs to establish whether the IT system will ever be fit for purpose and be capable of delivering payments accurately and on time in the future.
The Union’s call comes ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee taking evidence tomorrow (Thursday 29 September) on Scottish Government’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Futures programme – the IT programme that has failed in its delivery of CAP payments to farmers and crofters.
The Union has urged committee members to consider the following when questioning Scottish Government officials responsible for the CAP futures programme.
Is Scottish Government in a position to provide clarification on how fixes to the IT system are progressing in order to deliver outstanding 2015 payments to farmers and crofters?
Will Scottish Government outline a timeframe when official notifications will be issued to all businesses that have received payment for 2015, informing them what they have been paid and how that payment has been calculated?
NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “Deep flaws within the CAP futures programme, and its inability to accurately deliver 2015 support payments in a timely manner, placed the whole rural economy in jeopardy last spring. Audit Scotland has questioned whether the CAP futures programme will ever be fit for purpose and this evidence session provides MSPs with an opportunity to drill down on the reasons for that failure and for key Scottish Government officials to identify what is being done to rectify the failings.
“The blunt truth is that, as we near the end of September, there are almost 700 farmers and crofters who have yet to receive some or all of their 2015 basic payment.”