MSPs demand action after ‘catalogue of errors’ over CAP

Jenny Marra said the committee was 'appalled' by the errors. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

Jenny Marra said the committee was 'appalled' by the errors. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

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The Scottish Parliament’s public audit and post legislative scrutiny committee has written to the Scottish Government to state its frustration at the “catalogue of errors” with the CAP Futures programme.

Stating that the committee was “appalled” by the on-going catalogue of errors in the payment of farm support, the letter asks permanent secretary Leslie Evans to provide the committee with monthly updates on progress on the programme including making the audit committee aware of any “significant, substantive issues”.

The letter follows the audit committee’s meeting on 8 December where it took evidence from Leslie Evans, and other Scottish Government officials, about the CAP Futures programme. The meeting heard about further problems and yesterday’s letter made it clear that the committee were keeping a close eye on how the issues were being addressed.

Committee convener Jenny Marra MSP said: “Our committee is appalled by the catalogue of errors that have plagued the CAP Futures programme since it began. The fact that even more mistakes were announced during our meeting was deeply concerning especially as these errors could have a significant impact farmers, crofters and rural businesses.

“The audit committee expects the Scottish Government to address the on-going problems and has now requested monthly updates to assure Parliament that improvements are being made.”

Marra said she believed most issues could be rectified, but added: “If there are any further difficulties with this programme, we will not hesitate to hold to account those who are responsible.”

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