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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 28th September 2017 > Rural economy is being starved

Rural economy is being starved

Sir,

It seems that not a day goes by when I’m contacted by farmers and crofters in my ward with justifiable concerns about single farm payments and the plight of our rural economy.

Unfortunately, the bad news just keeps rolling in as the Scottish Government could face a fine of up to £700,000 for the late payment of European subsidies to farmers this year. The penalty, estimated at between £500,000 and £700,000, relates to delays to 2016 Common Agricultural Policy. The figure is on top of potential financial penalties of around £5 million as a result of late payments in 2015 after delays caused by the introduction of a new £178 million IT system. A total of 90.4 per cent of payments due to farmers were paid by the June deadline, with the European Commission rejecting a request from Scottish ministers for an extension to the payment window.

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