The Tenant Farmers Association expressed its relief today
following DEFRA Minister Lord Bach's announcement that the bulk
of full payments under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) would be
made to farmers by the end of March.
TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said "It has been a worrying
time for our members many of whom have struggled to cope with the
cash shortfall created by the delay in payments. We had been fearful,
particularly over recent weeks, that DEFRA would be announcing
only interim payments or a further delay".
The TFA also commended the grass roots staff of the RPA for working
hard to facilitate payments, despite having to use what must be
a frustrating system.
"In my discussions with Lord Bach today, I underlined how
important this announcement was. The TFA has consistently been
supportive of the hard working staff within the RPA but critical
of the hand DEFRA had dealt them. The decision by DEFRA to use
the universally slammed dynamic hybrid system for implementing
the SPS has been the root of all our troubles including those of
the RPA" said Mr Dunn.
"With the information that definitive establishment will
take place on 14 February our members will also be able to plan
for any transfers of entitlement that may be necessary before 2006
claims are submitted. However, we continue to be worried that each
farmer wishing to transfer entitlements is required to obtain a
bespoke form from the RPA before doing so. With the number of farmers
requiring transfer forms which have to be returned to the RPA by
2nd April we could see a meltdown of the system. I would certainly
encourage farmers to pre-register for those forms now" said
The TFA is also urging its members to check their definitive establishment
forms, when received, against their original application form and
any additional information submitted. If there is any doubt about
the accuracy of the allocation it is essential to take advice and,
if necessary, lodge an appeal with the RPA.
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