It's not just us that thinks the SNP are failing our farmers

With the Edinburgh Evening News & The Scotsman both publishing Association Chairman, Tim Jackson's letter, a local farmer responds.

"As a farmer in East Lothian I am grateful to Tim Jackson for highlighting the delays in delivery of the EU Basic Payments Scheme to farming businesses, especially at a time when all agricultural commodities are at such low prices.  The price of wheat today, in real terms, is one third of the 1970 price.  £300 is needed today to buy what £20 bought in 1970.

"Mr Jackson is quite right to criticise the delivery of the ambitious IT project commissioned by the Scottish Government who are responsible for the devolved administration of the EU payments.  Why do governments consistently fail when building new IT systems?  It is reassuring that the chairman of the East Lothian Conservative & Unionist branch is fully aware of the importance of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and of these payments, not just for farmers but, as he says, for the "wider economy".  Can we expect a similarly supportive statement of the benefits of the Common Agricultural Policy from our UK farming minister who is responsible for the policy element of the CAP in the United Kingdom, which is reserved to Westminster?

"It would also be enlightening if DEFRA would make some comment on where UK agriculture might find itself if the decision is made to withdraw from the European Union."