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MP Welcomes Farm Payment Commitment

March 16, 2016 10:42 AM


Farron supports plans for new Auction Mart siteWestmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has welcomed the commitment from the Rural Payments Agency to deliver over 90% of farm payments during December this year, contrasting this aim with its performance this year as thousands of farmers are still unpaid.

Speaking to a select committee of MPs, the chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Mark Grimshaw committed to delivering over 90% of the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme payments in December, insisting that this was an "achievable" target.

This commitment is in stark contrast to the RPA's record this year, with thousands of farmers yet to receive any payment. However, Grimshaw said he expected "between 92-95%" to be paid by the end of March. It is thought that the RPA is finally now processing commons payments claims.

The RPA has also confirmed that it will contact all farmers who are yet to receive their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme payment, to specify a precise period in which they can expect to be paid.

Tim said: "The RPA is right to be ambitious for future years, but for now the focus needs to be on those farmers who have been let down by delays with the 2015 payments. Many farmers in South Lakeland had expected to receive this money in December, yet are still waiting for anything to come through. At a time of depressed prices and with the effects of the flooding to deal with as well, these delays have caused farmers unnecessary additional worry. I welcome the fact that farmers will now be told when they can expect the money, but the system needs to radically improve by next year to save farmers the same ordeal again. The RPA needs to deliver on its promises."