Jim Walker wades into row over farmers' EU payments

With almost one-third of Scottish farmers still not having received their basic payment scheme money, former NFU Scotland president Jim Walker said it now seemed certain that Scotland would face financial penalties for not getting the cash out to farmers within European Union time limits.

Jim Walker said Scotland could face financial penalties over the delays. Picture: Bill Fleming

Figures from the Scottish Government show that, as of last Wednesday, some 12,402 farmers had received at least part of their basic payment scheme cash.

This was an increase of 33 on the previous week’s total and means that some 68 per cent of Scotland’s 18,137 eligible recipients have now received a percentage of their cash leaving 32 per cent still waiting; although just over 3,000 have claimed from the special emporary reserve.

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Walker, who has been extremely critical of the workings of the £180 million computer at the centre of the delays and of the politicians and civil servants defending the payment schedule, said there was no way the Scottish Government could complete the payments by the EU limit of the end of June.

“We will surely be looking at Scotland facing financial penalties for not completing the payments by the due date,” he stated.

Willie Rennie, Lib Dem leader, was also critical of the Government’s performance on paying out when he visited a farm at Dairsie in Fife.

“It is obvious the Scottish Government has still not got to grips with the problem,” he said.