Norfolk farmer refused compensation for maladministration

  • Posted

Posted 22/12/2009

A Norfolk farmer has complained of his mistreatment by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) after it refused to compensate him for maladministration which has caused him financial loss.

Alister Borthwick has described the government’s body’s conduct as “unbelievable” after it mishandled his attempts to enter the single farm payment scheme.

The farmer told the Eastern Daily Press that Defra’s Rural Payment Agency has repeatedly failed to issue correct maps of his farm and caused delays to his application, forcing him to make redundancies.

Ombudsman Ann Abraham subsequently published a report calling for £5,500 to be paid to Mr Borthwick in compensation, adding that this should be considered a point of “important principle”.

However, this request has since been refused by environment minister Hilary Benn.

Mr Borthwick said: “Defra set the rules and we have to stick to our side of the rules – when they don’t stick to their side of the rules, there seems to be no sanction against them.”


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