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Farron slams RPA for 'Inexcusable Delays'

September 1, 2016 4:02 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has slammed the Rural Payments Agency for 'inexcusable delays'. Some local farmers have still not received their support payments for 2015.

Tim is still being contacted by local farmers who had been expecting their payments 9 months ago, but have yet to receive a penny.

The RPA originally said that it would "pay the vast majority of claimants by the end of January", and that "the payment window will close on 30 June 2016."

In a letter to Tim in August, the new Environment Minister Andrea Leadsom wrote that "getting things right in the first year of BPS has been tough and there have been challenges including resolving the final, more complex claims".

Tim said: "These delays are utterly inexcusable - it is a disgrace. Hardworking local farmers are at the end of their tether, and they are being completely messed around by the incompetence of the RPA.

"The government has repeatedly said that things will improve, but for farmers struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills, these words will ring hollow. It is appalling that some farmers are still waiting to receive their payments.

"The government must stop making bland statements about the challenges they've faced, and start taking serious action to ensure that farmers get their money, and that next year's system is better than this year's shambles."