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Farron calls for flexibility and sensitivity from ministers on farm overpayments

November 14, 2007 3:00 PM

Following a recent meeting with farmers in Westmorland and Lonsdale, Local MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming Tim Farron is today writing to Farming Minister Lord Rooker to ask that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs looks into offering flexible options for the repayment of Single Farm Payment overpayments where they occur.

Tim Farron said:

"The Rural Payments Agency should not be making mistakes and issuing overpayments or underpayments. When overpayments do occur, farmers agree that in most cases, the money should be repaid. However, it is simply irresponsible and insensitive for the RPA to demand demand money back without offering farmers easy options - especially given the tough times that farmers are experiencing following foot and mouth, bluetongue and now the worry about a fresh bird flu outbreak .

"The Government must show that it understands the economic plight of farmers and help them through this difficult period as much as possible by being sensitive and flexible on this matter."

In addition to raising farmers' concerns on overpayments, Tim also asked the Minister to look into the cost of submitting applications for and the annual charges associated with the Integrated Pollution and Prevention Controls.