SNP MSP Joan McAlpine accused the Tories of hypocrisy on farm support – after they failed to explain how they would guarantee support for farmers if the UK votes to leave the EU.
The Conservative Farming Minister, George Eustice, has announced that he will vote for the UK to leave the EU – effectively campaigning for an end to all EU support for Scotland’s farmers and rural communities.
In contrast to the reckless actions of the UK Government, the SNP has this week announced a £200 million fund to provide cash support to farmers and crofters who are waiting on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) claims being processed.
CAP support in Scotland is worth around £4 billion in the period from 2015 to 2020.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“Farming is absolutely vital to our economy and society in Dumfriesshire and it is right that the industry gets the support it needs to thrive.
“While the complications of a new IT system led to regrettable delays, the SNP in government is taking real action to provide the support our farmers need - with a new £200 million cash advance to farmers.
“It is incredibly hypocritical of the Tories to try and score political points over farm support when their own Farming Minister is set on seeing the support abolished in its entirety by dragging Scotland out of the EU. They have refused to give our farming communities any information about the future of support payments if we’re out of Europe.
“The SNP in government, however, will continue to do everything we can to protect and support farmers – and to maintain vital CAP support by keeping Scotland in the EU.”