(2) what plans his Department has to allocate funding under Article 68 measures under the Common Agricultural Policy.
The difference between payments to date under the 2007 Single Payment Scheme and the theoretical maximum is in the region of £50 million, largely as a result of farmers not claiming against all of their entitlements. No decisions have been made to date on the use of ‘Article 68’ measures.
I refer to the written statement made to Parliament on 25 November by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State (Hilary Benn) about the outcome of the CAP health check negotiations. We believe that the health check will take the level of decoupled farm payments from 89 per cent. to 96 per cent. by 2013, although we estimate that the use of “national envelopes” could reduce that amount by up to 2.7 per cent., depending on how member states choose to implement them. The Government will continue to press in the EU for full decoupling of all farm payments.
(2) what percentage of farmers in England have received their single farm payments for 2008.
[holding answer 18 December 2008]: Of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) claims examined by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to date 6,557 overpayments invoices have been issued against SPS claimants broken down as follows for each of the last three years.
SPS scheme year Invoices issued 2005 3,893 2006 2,248 2007 416
SPS scheme year
RPA has received repayments from 1,610 customers either in full, as part of a repayment agreement or as a partial interception of a claim.
[holding answer 18 December 2008]: Of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) claims examined to date the average, median, highest and lowest demand to repay overpayments made against SPS claimants in each of the last three scheme years are:
2005 2006 2007 Average 4,292.46 4,339.64 2,804.88 Median 802.74 1,040.43 922.21 Highest 738,198.25 649,138.33 117,493.20 Lowest 68.21 67.95 252.29
[holding answer 18 December 2008]: The Rural Payments Agency is obliged to recover overpayments. The reasons for these Single Payment Scheme (SPS) overpayments include entitlement correction work—some of which claimants asked us to carry out, partial payments—which were made in the 2005 and 2006 SPS scheme years and where the final claim value once validation is completed is now less than the amount paid and penalties.
Penalties can be applied to SPS applications for several reasons; submission of an application after the deadline, inaccuracies in an application, if a farmer does not meet cross compliance standards, or if they apply, set aside management rules. The size of the penalty will depend on the problem found. For example the size of a land penalty will depend on the amount of invalid land claimed. The size of a late submission penalty will depend on the number of days after the deadline on which an application was received.
Detailed analysis of Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payments by constituency is not available.
From April 2009, in accordance with EC Commission Regulation 259/2008, SPS payment details will be available on the UK CAP payments website for payments made between 16 October 2007 and 15 October 2008, which is the EU financial year. Subsequent scheme payments will be published on this website each April, together with all other common agricultural policy payments made.