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Compensation Claims

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Rural Payments Agency and British Cattle Movement Service claims remain outstanding; what steps are being taken to clear these claims up; and if she will make a statement. [120536]

All claims under CAP Bovine Schemes in England are paid by the Rural Payments Agency. All involve cross checking of claim details with records maintained by the British Cattle Movement Service on the Cattle Tracing System.As at 20 June there were 41,762 advance payments outstanding compared with a scheme total of 242,817 for 2003. At the same date there were 191,358 balance payments outstanding.Outstanding advance payments will be paid with the balance payment as a single payment.Although the Regulations require payments to be made by 30 June, the UK and several other member states have made representations to the European Commission for extra time in which to complete the process because the introductions this year of a system of aggregated penalties has necessitated extensive redevelopment of the computer system needed to process claims and make the payments.Every effort is being made to clear the outstanding payments as quickly as possible. Up-to-date information is posted on the RPA's website and information is provided to the press from time to time.