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Stackyard News Feb 06

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Single Farm Payment Relief

Rural Payments Agency

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 Mr Dunn.

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.

link At Last! Full Farm Payments Promise By RPA
link Full CAP payments to farmers will begin in February
link Rural Payments Agency 'no confidence' vote - NFU

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Tenant Farmers Association
Tenant Farmers Association