Harkin backs calls for working group to look at basic payment criteria

Marian Harkin

A Midlands North West MEP is claiming that mismanagement by successive Government departments has led to a situation where hill farmers do not know whether or not their land qualifies for payments under the new Basic Payment Scheme.

Marian Harkin says farmers are facing a Catch 22 at the moment - If they apply for land which is deemed ineligible, they can be fined, but if they don't apply, they automatically lose out.

She's backing calls for the immediate establishment of a working group to establish a clear formula to define what land is eligible for payments..............