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Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to pay single farm payments to all farmers at the same time; and if he will make a statement. (228176)

The EU payment window for the single payment scheme (SPS) runs from 1 December to 30 June and the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) aims to ensure that payments are made as early as possible within that payment window. However in line with detailed EU regulations, before making each payment, RPA is required to perform detailed validity checks including carrying out cross-checks against all other SPS applicants to ensure that there are no dual claims. The timing of each payment will therefore vary according to the complexity of the claim with simple claims processed and paid quickly and more complex claims taking longer.

In order to pay all claimants on the same day, RPA would have to delay making any payments until the last claim had completed validation.