FARMERS may face increased penalties if they submit an inaccurate IACS application this year.
DEFRA has introduced new rules which will apply to farmers who submit forms which contain a large margin of error.
From 2002, if the difference between an area found and the area claimed is greater than 30% of the whole application then no aid will be paid for that year. If the difference is more than 50%, aid will be lost for the next three years. These penalties are in addition to existing ones.
Richard King, a Melton Mowbray-based consultant with Andersons, believes DEFRA was trying to stamp out fraud. "I dont think they want to be any more harsh on anyone making a genuine mistake. But it worrying as it does up the ante a bit.
"If people are doing it right it shouldnt worry them. But it is bound to get a few people who are making genuine mistakes."
IACS forms should now have arrived on farms. Farmers have until May 15 to complete them. *