The farmers concerned will be best served by the Rural Payments Agency’s continued focus on making payments under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and, where necessary, adjustments to SPS entitlement values, in the earliest possible time frame. The latest position on these issues was reported in the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 15 May 2007, Official Report, column 29WS.
As announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in his statement of 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 1478, the Rural Payments Agency has been authorised to make interest payments at the London Interbank Offered Rate +1 per cent. on sums due under the 2005 Single Payment Scheme which were outstanding at the end of the EU Regulatory payment window for the scheme on 30 June 2006. Such payments are calculated from 1 July 2006 until the date of payment and are subject to a minimum interest payment level of £50. As at 3 May 2007, such payments have totalled £1,161,299.29.
I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 15 May 2007, Official Report, column 29WS.
The Rural Payments Agency wrote to affected Single Payment Scheme applicants in January to explain the background to its, then recently completed, review of the allocation of fruit and vegetable authorisations and to confirm the outcome in respect of applicants' individual cases.