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Full CAP payments to farmers will begin in February
31/01/06

English farmers will start receiving full payments in February under the Single Payment Scheme, Farming Minister Lord Bach confirmed today.

Rural Payments Agency

A total of £1.6 billion will be paid directly into farmers' and growers' bank accounts or by payable order, starting at the end of February and with the bulk complete in March. All payments will be well within the window set by EU legislation which runs until 30th June 2006.

Lord Bach said: “I am very pleased to confirm what we said more than a year ago - that full payments will begin in February. I hope this announcement will provide some reassurance to the farming industry.

“Staff at the Rural Payments Agency have worked extremely hard to make this possible and I am most grateful to them. I also want to acknowledge the co-operation and patience of everyone who has made a claim.

“The start of these payments signals a milestone in the development of a modern farming industry in this country, one which is no longer driven by subsidies. This new single payment scheme, a key part of the 2003 reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, rolls 11 old schemes into one.

“It encourages farmers to be more innovative in responding to consumer demand while setting new standards of sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.”

The Rural Payments Agency will now press ahead to definitively establish entitlements on February 14th. Farmers will be informed of their individual details within two weeks of that date.

Johnston McNeill, Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency, said: “Our staff have shown dedication and a lot of hard work in recent months to deliver these payments and it is a great credit to them.

“Making full payments from February will also deliver major benefits for the future. Claimants will be able to trade their definitively-established entitlements and their SPS forms for 2006 will be pre-printed with their key data so that the next application will be simpler to complete.”

Notes:

1. More than 120,000 claims for the Single Payment Scheme were received by the Rural Payments Agency. The scheme replaces the previous system of 11 separate subsidy payments.

2. The RPA is on track to establish definitive entitlements by 14 February, and send entitlement statements out to farmers, enabling trading and transfers of entitlements in advance of the 2006 scheme year.

3. A service to deal with SPS payment and entitlement enquiries at the RPA's Customer Service Centre (CSC) will be available from 6 March. Prior to that date, CSC will prioritise queries to help complete outstanding validations, therefore customers are asked to only contact CSC before 6 March if they have been asked to do so by the RPA in order to resolve a query or if they wish to obtain a form to transfer entitlements.

link Rural Payments Agency 'no confidence' vote - NFU
link RPA Bungling Sees Farmers And Taxpayers Lose Out
link CLA Slams Rural Payments Agency


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