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Single Farm Payments

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects further single farm payments to be made. [R] (111434)

A small number of full 2006 single payment scheme payments have already been made to a number of eligible claimants as part of a live IT test with the first payments reaching farmers on 15 January.

The proving process has been successful and so full payments will continue to be made where claims are fully validated. In line with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s statement of 7 November 2006 a partial payment of at least 50 per cent. of the claim value will be made from mid February to all claimants where it has not been possible to make a full payment and the claim value is at least €1,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many valid claims for 2005 Single Farm Payment remain to be paid in full; and when he expects these to be paid. (111604)

There are 194 Single Payment Scheme claims in respect of 2005 that have not received any payment to date. 70 of these cases are pending the resolution of issues such as probate. The remainder of these 2005 claims are potentially eligible to be paid and are currently being processed.

In addition there are 221 claims where a top up payment might be necessary once a detailed review of each case has undertaken.

Given the individual circumstances applying to such cases it is not possible to put a timeframe on when they will all be completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many 2005 single farm payments have not been fully paid; how much is due to the applicant awaiting the highest full payments; and if he will make a statement. (111773)

[holding answer 26 January 2007]: The Rural Payments Agency has estimated there are 194 Single Payment Scheme claims in respect of 2005 that have not received any payments to date.

70 of these cases are pending the resolution of issues such as probate. The remainder of these 2005 claims are potentially eligible to be paid and are currently being processed.

In addition there are 221 claims that have received a partial payment and are potentially due a final balance ‘top up’ payment.

These claims are being paid as soon as possible, but it is not possible to put a time frame on when they will all be completed.

The Rural Payment Agency is also checking approximately 20,000 2005 cases which include those involving queries raised by farmers to establish whether the correct payment has been made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on progress on the Government’s discussions with the European Union regarding disallowance of European Union expenditure as a result of the late payments made under the Single Payment Scheme in England. (111774)

[holding answer 26 January 2007]: The Government has explained to the European Commission why it believes late payment penalties in respect of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme would be inappropriate and, should the Commission make any relevant proposals in due course, will continue to defend the UK’s interests.