27 August 1999
Grass on your neighbours, farmers told
By FWi staff
FARMERS should be encouraged to shop their neighbours if they suspect they are breaking set-aside rules or wrongly claiming subsidies, claims a new report.
The report, by the governments Public Accounts Committee, says the government should consider doing more to encourage the exposure of those trying to defraud taxpayers.
The cross-party group of MPs believes that encouraging people to “inform” would help deter people from making false claims.
MAFF should consider the experience of other departments that have used such tactics to tighten up on benefit fraud, says the report.
Between 1993 and 1997 MAFF referred 25 cases of suspected fraud or serious negligence for investigation – almost half of which were discovered after tip-offs from other farmers.
The report also recommends that MAFF does more to find out how the IACS schemes operates in other EU countries.
It recommends that officials seek dat on whether other countries are less thorough.