Farm payments report is ‘shining example of waste and incompetence’

Sir Robert calls for Single Farm Payment system to be rethought

A damning report from the National Audit Office has once again revealed the blundering of the British Government in paying EU subsidies to farmers, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, said recently.

The report said the administration of the Single Farm Payments scheme did not provide value for money for taxpayers, and it accused Defra of showing scant regard for protecting public money.

The review also claimed that the cost of processing claims has risen to around £1,743 per claim under the complex system used. Meanwhile the cost per claim under the simpler Scottish system is £285.

The Single Farm Payment was introduced by Margaret Beckett in 2005. At the time, she went against all warnings and created an overly complex system for administering the payments, which resulted in substantial delays for farmers. Sir Robert has now said that if, after four years, the Government cannot get the system right, it should reconsider it.

Sir Robert said:

“The Government deliberately went against all advice and created an exceptionally convoluted system for administering payments, for which our countryside and taxpayers are still paying the price.

“The Single Farm Payment has become a shining example of waste and incompetence from this government. Ministers who have overseen this calamity owe our farmers an apology.

“If the Government can’t get it right after four years, it needs to seriously reconsider the current system.”

Top ↑