22 September 2000
Subsidy appeals panel for Scots

By FWi staff

AN independent appeals panel has been appointed to act as arbiter when disputes arise between farmers and the Scottish Executive over subsidy claims.

A formal announcement on the panel members is expected next month.

For many years, farmers have complained that civil servants not only administer various IACS schemes, but also act as judge and jury during appeals.

The appointment of an appeals panel comes after a manifesto pledge from the Liberal Democrats, who now govern in coalition with Labour in Scotland.

However, it remains to be seen whether the Ministry of Agriculture will follow suit and offer farmers in England and Wales a similar system.