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Lyon renews attack on Lochhead over EU single payment fine

The war of words over the scale of the penalties imposed by Europe on Scotland as a result of claiming for ineligible areas of land under the single farm payment scheme continued yesterday.

Lib Dem MEP George Lyon claimed the Scottish Government’s reluctance to confirm any figure had more to do with the information being potentially damaging to the SNP than there being no merit in publishing it.

“The £100 million figure has been widely reported as accurate,” he said. “The Scottish Government’s own figures show that more than £70 million of this will come out of the agricultural budget, most of which has happened on [agriculture minister Richard] Lochhead’s watch.

“It is a miracle that we know these figures at all. The SNP government has blocked every attempt to get at the truth, including rejecting Freedom of Information requests on the basis there was no public interest in releasing the information.

“The minister has still not outlined any figures in an official capacity. It is time he came clean on exactly what he knew and when rather than continuing to dance around the real issue.” To read more



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