Scottish farmers' winter wait for EU payments

More than 1,000 farmers in Scotland are still waiting for their European subsidy payments to be processed, new figures show.

Some 1,061 of 18,479 eligible businesses had not received payment under the Common Agricultural Policy scheme as of August 24, the updated figures show - almost double the 532 reported on August 5 after the Scottish Government said some payments had been mistakenly double counted.

Problems with a new IT system meant there have been delays in getting money to many farmers.

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The deadline for payments to be made has been extended from the end of June to October 15.

Liberal Democrat North East MSP Mike Rumbles said the situation was a “shambles”, adding: “At a rate of around 500 applications being processed each month, it could be the winter before some farmers receive their payments.

“Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is haemorrhaging overtime pay and now it seems they do not even have a clear idea of how many farmers are yet to have their applications processed.”

In England, farmers who own common land have suffered the worst payment delays.

One Northumberland farmer said he had received the final 20 per cent chunk of his payment earlier today - nine months after the payment window opened.