NORTHERN IRISH farmers are being swamped by red tape as CAP reform is rolled out – and the situation is getting worse.

“Far from seeing any reduction in paperwork, the industry has only seen evidence of regulation being gold-plated and the creation of new layers of bureaucracy,” says Ulster Farmers Union president Campbell Tweed in a letter to agriculture minister Ian Pearson.

 Examples given include the complexity of the new single farm payment application form, confusion surrounding the changes to new set-aside rules and duplication of inspection procedures under cross-compliance.