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Common Agricultural Policy: Single Payment Scheme

Volume 712: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State (Hilary Benn) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

As at 30 June, the end of the regulatory payment window for the 2008 single payment scheme, a total of £1.625 billion, representing some 99.69 per cent of the estimated total fund had been paid in full payments to 104,199 claimants.

These figures confirm that the agency has helped to ensure that the UK as a whole has met the EU requirement that 96.154 per cent of 2008 scheme payments be made by 30 June. This follows earlier confirmation that the agency had met its formal performance targets for this scheme year.

Reaching these targets continues to demonstrate improvements in RPA’s performance and levels of service to its customers and provide another important step forward for the agency.

Of the outstanding 2008 claims on which processing is not complete, approximately 400 are expected to result in a payment in due course. Work continues to complete the necessary validation of those claims as soon as possible. Interest will be paid to claimants on sums paid after 30 June on the same basis as for previous scheme years. The agency will continue to address any cases of individual hardship as sympathetically as possible.

Alongside that work, RPA has already begun processing the 107,000 or so claims that have been submitted under the 2009 SPS. Formal payment targets will be announced separately, but I know the agency chief executive is expecting to at least match RPA performance under the 2008 scheme when nearly £1 billion was paid out by the end of December.