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Tim Farron

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Farmers suffer as RPA insists on using 40 year old register

June 6, 2007 12:00 AM

Following news that yet more farmers are having payments delayed by the Rural Payments Agency because of confusion over commons land entitlements, Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming, Tim Farron has expressed concern through a parliamentary Early Day Motion.

The RPA is using the Commons Registration Act 1965 as the principle point of reference for the entitlements, which has led to some farmers receiving less than they should, and other facing considerable delays in the payment process.

Tim Farron said:

"It is nonsense to think that a register which is 40 years out of date could ever be an adequate guide to current land usage. If the RPA had consulted farmers they would have discovered that the register has never been considered to be completely reliable.

"The fact that more farmers are being inconvenienced by the RPA, whilst not entirely surprising is nonetheless extremely distressing. Farmers have seemingly suffered endlessly at the hands of the RPA and this is just rubbing salt into the wounds.

"I hope this problem will be addressed by DEFRA as soon as possible so as to avoid further inconvenience and loss of income to already hard-up farmers."