THE WELSH Assembly is refusing to publish details of past subsidy payments made to farmers, but has warned that the blackout may not apply to single farm payments.

A spokesman said: “The legal advice we received was that we should not release this information, and that is what we are sticking by.

“It is not unusual for different lawyers to give different advice and that is all that has happened here.”

However the SFP application form due to be issued shortly will indicate that financial details may be made public.

Welsh farming unions have been reluctant to comment on the assembly‘s stance.

They fear that members will damn them if they do not support it and the public will condemn them if they do.

An FUW spokesman claimed that the average amount paid to Welsh farmers was much lower than in England, but publication of the figures would be misleading and damaging unless it was linked to a full explanation of the reasons why payments were justified.

The hostile reception given to the publication of details of subsidies made to English farmers subsides graphically demonstrated what would probably happen in Wales.

NFU Cymru staff will join Welsh Assembly farm liaison officers to stage 10 roadshows to help farmers complete their SFP applications accurately.

These will start on April 6 and will cover all parts of the Principality.