To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he hopes to pay the ewe premium; and if he will explain the reasons for the delay in making this payment to farmers.
We cannot make payments of sheep annual premium until the rates are published in the OfficialJournal of the European Communities. The final rate of premium in respect of the 1989 scheme was published on 19 May 1990 and we have paid over 98 per cent. of claims received. The small number of outstanding cases are those for which our administrative checks have not been completed.