07 August 1998
Cunningham rejected subsidy tribunal

IN one of his final acts as farm minister, Jack Cunningham revealed that MAFF had rejected the idea of an independent appeals tribunal for farmers who believed subsidy claims had been dealt with unfairly.

Replying to Lib-Dem farm spokesman, Charles Kennedy, who had proposed the idea, Dr Cunningham said: “I considered the matter of appeals tribunals shortly after taking up this office. I concluded that it would be difficult to justify diverting scarce resources towards the introduction of a formal appeals tribunal.”

Dr Cunningham said that any farmers who were unhappy about MAFF decisions should take up the matter initially with the regional director in the ministry service centre handling their claim.

If farmers remained dissatisfied, their cases could be raised with ministers by local MPs, and, ultimately, the courts could be used to seek judicial review.

  • For the full story, see Farmers Weekly, 7-13 August, 1998
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