The public has a right to know farmers' EU subsidies

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the public will be able to find out how much any farmer is paid in subsidies from the EU, according to Lord Whitty, the food and farming minister.

Since the Act also applies retrospectively, disclosure of farmers' subsidies and money received by large landowners or companies over the past 30 years would have to be disclosed if requested. The release of details of such payments has previously been refused by citing commercial confidentiality as a reason for keeping the information secret.

Lord Whitty said: "I have always been uncomfortable that individual payments of subsidy to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy were not subject to public disclosure as they are, for example, in Denmark."

Public to know what EU pays to farmers (The Telegraph, 6 January 2005)