Fight disclosure nonsense!
Scottish Farmer Editorial 15 January 2005
SURELY even Ross Finnie must have suffered a twinge or two of
guilt when, addressing the Scottish Parliament's Environment an
Rural Development Committee this week, he uttered the words:
" People have a right to find out how their taxes were spent."
The irony of making such a statement within a monstrosity of
building, which must be the biggest (and ugliest) waste of taxpayers’
money in Scottish history will not be lost on Scottish Farmers whose
very existence is being put under threat due to CAP reform. That
their Single Farm Payment will be bandied about to anyone who asks
(but who will not realise that it is a consumer subsidy, guaranteeing
cheap, quality food) will be seen for what it is - another attempt
by petty, narrow-minded Labour administrations (up to their neck
in sleaze both at Holyrood and at Westminster) to bring those so
called Tory-supporting country-folk to heel.
These payments are essentially a re-distribution of EU funds and
few, if any, other member states intend to disclose them. As NFU
Scotland so rightly points out, the Single Farm Payment will only
amount to some 2% of the funds channelled through the Scottish
Executive. Will the other 98% of funds spent, including social
security payments to individual people and addresses, be available
for disclosure? Somehow, the feeling is that they will not be. The only
people wishing to access individual SFP details will be those seeking
to make mischief!
Lord Whitty (who made a similar statement at the Oxford
Farming Conference) and Ross Finnie must be told in no uncertain
terms that this is unacceptable and that a legal challenge will be
mounted citing a breach of the Data Protection Act.