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Improved farm payments 'scant consolation' for farmers waiting over a year

December 6, 2016 6:01 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news today that the RPA has made 2016 farm support payments to almost 60% of eligible farmers, but has warned that this will come as "scant consolation" for those farmers still waiting for last year's payments.

The payment window for the 2016 scheme opened at the beginning of December, and the Rural Payments Agency has announced today that over 51,000 farmers in England have received their money already, representing 59% of eligible claimants. The RPA insists it will pay 90% of eligible claims by the end of the month.

However, Tim has highlighted the plight of farmers who are still waiting to receive payments they are owed from the previous year's scheme.

Tim said: "The RPA's handling of farm payments last year was atrocious, so I welcome what appears to be an improvement in this year's scheme. However, it is important to spare a thought for those farmers who have still not received last year's payments - this news is scant consolation for them. This is mainly those working hard to make a living farming common land, including a number here in South Lakeland. Farmers face daily running costs and have bills to pay - it is an absolute disgrace to keep them waiting for over a year to receive the money they are owed. The RPA must urgently sort out payments still outstanding from last year."