Whitty uncovers subsidy details

THE AMOUNT of subsidy paid to individual farmers under the CAP will now be freely available to general public following the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act on Sat (Jan 1).

The Guardian reports the government had agreed to a request, made by the paper, that would permit details of farmers who receive public funds to be made freely available.

On Wed (Jan 5) junior DEFRA minister Lord Whitty told the Oxford Farming Conference that he could foresee no reason why the information should not be freely available.

“I have personally always been uncomfortable that individual payments of the subsidy to farmers under the CAP were not subject to public disclosure, as they are for example in Denmark,” said Lord Whitty.

“While they may have been some partial justification for non-disclosure of production related subsidy, there will be none under the FOI in relation to the single payment.

“Not all decisions have yet been reached on this, but I will certainly be recommending that in relation to future payments all single payment details should be subject to disclosure,” said Lord Whitty.

The paper lists members of the Royal Family and large land owners such as the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Buccleuch as well as the co-op group as some of the largest beneficiaries under the CAP.

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