Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland, has welcomed the news that the European Commission will extend the period during which farm payments can be made without incurring fines beyond the current June 30 deadline. This afternoon EU Farm Commissioner Hogan confirmed that member states would be absented from penalties until October 15th.
The move follows the Scottish Government's failure to pay farmers their CAP monies, a situation described last month by Audit Scotland as 'calamitous'. The new arrangements will mean the Scottish Government will have another 18 weeks to get its act together before any fines - which could be up to £125 million - are levied.
Commenting Ian said
'When I spoke to Farming Commissioner Hogan last month in Edinburgh I made the point that Scottish tax payers should not be punished for the SNP government's extraordinary incompetence. I think it is fair to say that he has bent over backwards to help Nicola Sturgeon out of the terrible mess her Government has created.
The flexibility shown by the Commission, but I must stress that this is not an excuse for the Scottish Government to take it’s foot off the pedal. Many farmers are still without payment, and Fergus Ewing’s apology means very little when you have bills to pay. A public inquiry is urgently required into what has gone so very badly wrong for so very long.'