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Government farm subsidy shambles continues

July 15, 2008 4:26 PM

A new parliamentary report has exposed continuing massive errors in the Government's handling of EU Single Farm Payments to farmers.

The report, by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, contains a list of 19 farmers who were paid over £50,000 too much in 2006. It also details that over a two-year period almost 20,000 farmers' payments were calculated wrongly and that overpayments totalled over £37m.

LibDem Euro-MP and European Agriculture Spokesperson for England and Wales Liz Lynne, has slammed the Government's poor handling of the subsidies, saying:

"This latest report highlights the breathtaking scale of the Government's incompetence in its handling of EU farm payments. It is likely we will now face substantial non compliance fines from the European Commission, only adding to the misery.

"As DEFRA and the rural payments agency dither through, farmers continue to be placed under massive stress through delays in payments and a woeful lack of information about overpayments, as efforts to recover money cause financial uncertainty and hardship for many.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Link to the report: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmpubacc.htm

While the money for the Single Farm Payment comes from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, it is distributed by the Government's Rural Payments Agency.