Farron: RPA boss must deliver on payment promises
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has insisted that the Rural Payments Agency must live up to its promises, following the appearance of its boss Mark Grimshaw in parliament yesterday. Tim has also highlighted the plight of commons farmers who are still to receive this year's payment.
RPA chief Mark Grimshaw was questioned by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee about the failures of this year's farm payments system. Vast numbers of farmers were paid late this year, with around 1000 payments still unpaid, the vast majority of which are for common land farmers.
Mark Grimshaw promised improved performance in the 2016 scheme, saying that things were "looking good" for meeting the target of 90% of payments being made by the end of December. He has also promised improved communication with farmers.
Tim said: "The government has made grand promises before and failed to deliver. Payments for the new scheme are due to start at the beginning of December, but some farmers in Cumbria are still waiting for money from a year ago. This year's scheme has been a total shambles, and it is common land farmers who have had the worst deal. Grand rhetoric must be matched by real change - and this means cash in the hands of our farmers without ridiculous delays."