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Farm Subsidies

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006 to the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten), Official Report, column 24W, on farm subsidies, whether the former Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency remains on paid leave of absence; when a decision on his future will be made; and if he will make a statement. (73215)

As a priority, DEFRA appointed an interim Chief Executive of the RPA to lead the organisation through the next period, and work has already begun to strengthen the senior management team. The former CEO of the RPA is currently on paid leave and we are in the process of resolving his employment issues through the proper legal procedures in line with the Department’s HR good practice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the Single Payment Scheme funds for the period between December 2005 and February 2006 to be paid. (85413)

The EU regulatory payment window for 2005 Single Payment Scheme ran from 1 December 2005 to 30 June 2006. The Rural Payments Agency began to make payments to English farmers in February 2006 and by 30 June over £1.438 billion (94.9 per cent. of total estimated expenditure) had been disbursed. The remaining sums will be paid as soon as possible.