Scottish Government is currently developing the Common Regional Agricultural Policy system with the implementation of the Simple Application Form or SAF.
To do this work, through CGI, Scottish Government recruited a large number of UK workers, a handful of EU workers, and a handful of Indian workers.
In August 2014, a new Delivery Director was appointed.
On Friday 21st November 2014, as the SAF project hit one of the most critical stages, a large number of UK workers were dismissed for inconsistent reasons. On Monday 24th November, a larger number of Indian workers came on board and replaced the duties of those who had been dismissed.
From this date onwards the focus of the project seemed to change dramatically from delivering a working solution to making money out of the public purse.
As the weeks continued more and more highly skilled UK workers with a sound understanding of the CAP system and its requirements were replaced by increasing numbers of relatively unskilled but cheaper Tier 2 migrant workers.
Furthermore, complaints were raised that staff believed the project was being deliberately sabotaged by senior management to facilitate and justify this ongoing activity.
A large number of these new recruits were on Tier 2 visas and the majority if not all of these new recruits were brought in through an agency called Spectromax Solutions.
Spectromax Solutions is owned by the same Delivery Director on the project who had the UK workers terminated. The Delivery Director, through his agency, gets a percentage of the daily income of each worker brought in.
This is a clear conflict of interest.
The workers brought in were and are being paid substantially less than their UK counterparts. They find the rate very difficult to live on in Edinburgh, one of the most expensive cities in the UK.
Tier 2 Visa regulations state that positions may only be offered to Tier 2 workers where there are no resident workers willing and able to do the job. The regulations do not allow resident workers to be terminated in order to make way for Tier 2 workers.
The Scottish Government at every level, including Nicola Sturgeon (the First Minister) and Richard Lochhead (the Agricultural Minister) are aware of what is going on and have allowed this to continue for the last 5 months.
- Tier 2 workers should be paid the same rate as UK workers.
- UK workers are not allowed to be terminated and replaced with Tier 2 workers.
- It seems highly questionable that the Delivery Director who had the UK workers terminated should get a slice of the income of every person that replaces them.
This is still ongoing and needs to be investigated.
For more information read Stop Tier 2 Visa Abuse and Stop Abusing Tier 2 Workers and Dom’s Diary.
The CAP system has now failed to deliver a working solution and has shown that it cannot pay the farmers.