It’s a story we all hope isn’t true but the rumour mill has been at it again and this time it’s yet more bad news for Scottish farmers – 70% of you won’t get paid this year.
Small farmers are expected to get hit hardest as they lack the clout to make the Government sit up and take note. Indeed, if the rumours are to be believed, only a selection of the big farmers and those farmers with the right connections will get paid this year through the new £200million CAP Payment computer system.
Apparently the Government has got itself cornered by its suppliers and things are so bad that the Governments own staff cannot support the system and nor do they want to.
According to internal sources none of the Governments own staff have any confidence in the CAP Payment system and when it is discussed by colleagues not on the project the feedback is “you’re better off out of it”
With the EU Commission having recently suspended the money earmarked for Scotland under the European Social Fund after what it called “irregularities” in spending, the grave concern is that the anticipated failure of this project will result in similar sanctions from the EU with respect to farmers payments and this could have serious consequences for the Scottish Farming industry.
For some management on the project it is believed that things couldn’t be better with increasing numbers of senior staff rumoured to have made their personal millions out of public funds.
Meanwhile Scotlands Economic Crime Unit, set up to investigate public sector fraud, have stated their investigations into the project are still ongoing.
Despite this, the 20% of the workforce who came forward to give evidence have received no contact from the ECU in nearly 6 months so it would appear the investigations are more on the shelf than ongoing.