At NFU Scotland's centenary annual meeting in St Andrews on Monday, Defra agriculture minister, David Heath, told the press that he was amenable to holding further talks on the levy repatriation, but was not willing to countenance any changes to the method of collection – thereby giving the distinct impression that this was what had been asked for.
Next day, this was debunked as a myth by Scottish CabSec Richard Lochhead, who said that he was perfectly happy with the current levy collection system and had not demanded any changes.
He was backed by Quality Meat Scotland chairman, Jim McLaren: "Nobody in Scotland has ever suggested we alter the method of collection. QMS currently sends out 25 invoices a month and we are perfectly happy with this situation."
(For the full story see The Scottish Farmer this week, February 16 2013)