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Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single farm payment scheme claims from (a) North Yorkshire, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England from 2005 have not been paid in full. (223211)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: There are currently eight cases outstanding from the 2005 Single Payment Scheme who have not been paid in full. These cases awaiting payment are held up on probate/legal grounds. None of the holdings concerned are based in North Yorkshire and Yorkshire and the Humber.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single farm payment scheme claims for each of the last three years have not been paid in full. (223212)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: Current records show that the number of valid single payment scheme claims which have not been paid in full is as follows:

Scheme year

Number of claims

2005

8

2006

23

2007

1134

1 In addition there are 100 claims which have been paid manually where a further payment may be necessary.

An on-going exercise at the Rural Payments Agency to verify the calculation of the entitlements allocated to some farmers could result in additional payments being made where appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the number of farmers who have received none of the single farm payment they were due since the start of the scheme; and if he will make a statement. (223605)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Rural Payments Agency’s most recent estimate is that four farmers have received none of the single farm payment they were due since the scheme started. These case are held up on probate/legal grounds.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) fines and (b) interest payments for late payments of the single farm payment cost in each of the years that the scheme has been running; and if he will make a statement. (223607)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Financial corrections relating to reductions for failure to meet payment deadlines for single payment scheme (SPS) 2005 payments are approximately £58.67 million. No late payment penalties have been incurred for SPS 2006 or SPS 2007.

(b) The current value of interest payments made to claimants who received their full SPS payment after the closing of the regulatory payment window are approximately £2.5 million for the 2005 SPS, £500,000 for the 2006 SPS and £31,000 for the 2007 SPS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what occasions computer system failure has resulted in the inability of the Rural Payments Agency to (a) access historical records and (b) make payments in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (223608)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The IT systems used by RPA staff to access historical records and/or make payments have been available for use for 99.73 per cent. of the planned hours of service during the last 12 months. The short periods of system downtime amounted to an average of only one hour per month and none of these outages have affected the RPA payment schedules, nor access to historic records or other critical information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what systems are in place to create and safely store historical records relating to single farm payments. (223609)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Rural Payments Agency maintains numerous systems and controls to safeguard customer records throughout their lifecycle. These systems and controls conform with the latest Cabinet Office requirements and with European Union requirements for handling CAP data. They are kept under constant review and regularly audited by the European Union and National Audit Office.