The National Audit Office has criticised the single farm payment scheme.

In a report on the scheme, the NAO found 113 errors in 363 claims tested, and that it had cost farmers up to £22.5m.

Philip Gibby, director of the study, said: “The scheme has cost an awful lot of money and is not yet in a position where it is working. The Rural Payments Agency is unlikely to remedy all the problems identified in time for the 2006 scheme, the payment for which starts in December 2006.”