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Farm Payments

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to pay interest on outstanding payments due on (a) hill farm allowance, (b) protein supplements and (c) energy crop supplements. (82487)

[holding answer 4 July 2006]: The protein supplements and aid for energy crops are made under Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy and have a legal payment deadline of 30 June 2006. As such, the Rural Payments Agency will be making interest payments at the London Interbank Offered Rate +1 per cent., calculated from 1 July 2006, in respect of any such payments which are paid after this deadline and where responsibility for the delay rests with the Rural Payments Agency. This will be subject to a minimum interest payment level of £50.

The hill farm allowance payments are made under Pillar 2 (Rural Development) of the Common Agricultural Policy and have no legal deadline. At present we do not consider that there is a case for the payment of interest in respect of hill farm allowance.