Farm subsidy details revealed

One hundred of the richest farmers in Scotland have had a £115 million hand-out from the government over five years, the Sunday Herald has revealed. More than 50 farmers, including some well-known members of the landed gentry, pocketed over £1 million each. Five received over £2m each, and one received £3.5m.

The hand-outs have been lambasted as "galling", "astonishing" and even "virtually Biblical" by environmentalists. But they have been defended by the farmers and landowners concerned as "nothing to be ashamed of" because of the contribution they make to the rural economy.

After two and half years of secrecy and prevarication, the Scottish government has been forced by the Scottish information commissioner, Kevin Dunion, to name those who have benefited most from agricultural subsidies in the past.

Revealed after a 31-month fight: who gets the £115m farm subsidies (Sunday Herald, 16 September 2007)