CAP Reform

UK - Ministers ‘misled’ over extent of SP administrative errors.
calendar icon 27 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
The Single Payment fiasco was a product of ‘misleading information’ from RPA and Defra officials, according to a former Minister.

Appearing in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee, Lord Whitty, Food and Farming Minister 2001-2005, said he had been misled as to the extent of the administrative errors, while Lord Bach, who held the position from May 2005 to May this year, said the top level of management at RPA was to blame.

However, Lord Bach accepted that he should take some portion of responsibility for what had happened. “The buck also stopped with me. My present status is evidence of that,” he said.

Lord Whitty told the sub-committee that the payments system broke down because of failure at the land mapping stage.

“The maps were inadequate and the process was taking inordinately longer than it should have,” he said, adding that there was a lack of experienced, adequately-trained RPA staff.

He said the ‘over-optimistic’ information he had been given by officials at RPA and Defra was contrary to what he was being told ‘on the ground’ by farmers and farming associations.

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