Conservative MEP: New EU approach to penalties will help farmers
Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP for Scotland, has praised new European Commission plans to reduce administrative penalties for farmers.
Last night, EU Commissioner Hogan proposed a new ´yellow-card system´, whereby penalties for genuine mistakes will be reduced by 50 percent. The scheme is expected to be rolled out towards the end of the year.
The Commissioner argued that new technology available for area measurement justifies reducing the administrative penalty for direct payment schemes. Penalties can currently be more than twice the value of any over-declaration. This will now be simplified by the application of a penalty which is 1.5 times the value of the over-declared area.
Commenting, Ian said:
"This announcement will be welcomed by the farming community, who are currently experiencing huge uncertainty over when they will receive basic payments from the Scottish Government.
"The ´yellow-card system´represents a major step in the right direction from the Commission, who are clearly taking a common sense approach to penalties and are committed to simplification.
"I am pleased that Commissioner Hogan has listened to what I and other MEPs have been saying for some time: farmers must not be punished for genuine mistakes.
"I hope that the Scottish Government is fully prepared to implement these changes when they come online."
1) Commissioner Hogan speaking at the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee last night: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/agri/home.html
Contact Andrew Johnston
Chief of Staff, Ian Duncan MEP