Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Farmer income plummeted as SNP botched CAP payments

Finlay Galloway Hills

Farming income across Scotland decreased by almost half as rural communities struggled amid the SNP’s chaotic approach to CAP payments.

Figures released today revealed, in 2015/16, the average income fell by £11,500 to £12,600.

The decrease came as rural communities were forced to wait months extra for hundreds of millions in CAP payments.

The Scottish Conservatives said today the statistics confirmed the SNP was letting down rural Scotland when it needed help the most.

And Scottish Conservatives Farming spokesman Finlay Carson said it underlined just how important it was for the Scottish Government to get the farming payments right in future.

Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson said:

“We now have solid evidence of what we already knew was happening in our agricultural sector. While farmers across Scotland were enduring huge falls in income, the SNP was nowhere to be seen.

“This very much focuses the attention of how important it is that the SNP Government stop gripping on the side lines and work with the UK Government to ensure we get the very best deal for our rural economy from 2020 onwards.

“Post-brexit we have the ideal opportunity to create a rural support system which is fit-for-purpose and can work to create a sustainable farming sector for the future.

“Instead of supporting them when they needed it most, the Scottish Government was starving the rural economy of hundreds of millions of pounds after messing up the CAP payments system.

“This drop in income is significant, and the Scottish Government needs to give our rural economy the attention it needs and spell out exactly what it’s going to do to help.

“It is extremely worrying that while Scotland’s food and drink is recording record sales and exports our farmers are not sharing in any of this success.

“Farmers desperately need a fairer share of consumer spending for providing quality food reared to the highest standards of animal welfare and environmental conditions.”