Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has spoken out following reports that the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Services system is causing further delays for crofters waiting for CAP payments.
Tavish Scott said:
"Crofters were promised their CAP payments by the end of January. For most that has not happened. The industry is now openly questioning the Scottish Government's commitment to agriculture. Crofters have lost trust in their government. Promises to deliver have not been met.
"The Scottish government has spent an unbelievable £178 million on a computer that has failed. This is absolutely shameful. If crofters had known that CAP payments were set to be delayed they could have planned accordingly. The government have spent £120 million on a NHS 24 computer that has now been abandoned. They must now decide whether the CAP computer costing £12,000 to deliver each payment can work. It is not right now.
"The Scottish Government deliberately left agriculture in the dark over the IT catastrophe because the Cabinet Secretary did not want to undermine the paper-thin case for independence. Crofters now know that Richard Lochhead spent 2014 promising the industry the earth if they backed independence. He said that a transition to independence would not disrupt CAP payments. But we now know that he knew all along that CAP payments would be disrupted. But telling the truth over Scottish independence was sadly never part of the SNP's approach."