Local MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming, Tim Farron, has welcomed today's announcement by new DEFRA minister David Miliband that 85% of Single Farm Payments will be made by the end of the week. However, Mr Farron remains critical of the length of time it has taken to make these payments, and is concerned that many local farmers have had to shoulder the cost of commercial loans as a stop gap while waiting for their Single Farm Payments.
Speaking after the announcement, Tim said: "The quick increase in payments to be made this week has to be welcomed, but it should never have taken the Government this long to make these payments.
"I am particularly concerned about the cost of interest on the commercial loans that some farmers have had to take out as a stop gap. I have therefore tabled a written question today to ask David Miliband whether his department can repay the interest charges on these loans."
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