Published: Mon, 06 January 2014
Independent Appeals System for SFP Map Errors Needed
“Farmers should not be penalised because of the errors of authorities in charge of collating maps on which the Single Farm Payment (SFP) is based,” Sean Kelly MEP told the Farming Independent.
“Most farmers based their 2013 applications on maps received from the Department in May, which were supposedly digitised. However, new digitised maps issued in the Autumn were on many farms different to the maps issued in May and farmers are being penalised accordingly.
“How can this be fair or even tolerable? Clearly in these instances there was no fraud or error involved by the farmers as they were based on submissions on what the Department gave them. They are now paying for the Department’s errors. It is extraordinary that Department are now penalising farmers for the errors it made itself.
“Clearly there is a need for an Independent Appeals system separate to the Department to examine each case if justice is to be done and to be seen to be done. I am calling on the Government to set up such a system,” concluded MEP Kelly.