The Tenant Farmers Association has lodged its concerns over the
chaotic administration of the Single Payment Scheme with the senior
management of the RPA and DEFRA Ministers. These concerns are to
be discussed with senior RPA staff at meetings this week.
TFA National Chairman Reg Haydon said “At the TFA’s
Annual General Meeting in February we were told by the RPA’s
Chief Executive Johnston McNeill that the RPA was getting on top
of the job and that in a few short weeks we would see real improvements.
I have to say that we have seen matters go from bad to worse and
there is much justifiable anger amongst farmers”.
In particular, big problems have been caused by the RPA’s
decision to circulate standard letters covering un-validated entitlement
“This decision was clearly wrong and has caused much anxiety
amongst nearly all of our members who have received them. We have
handled a huge number of calls from members clearly worried that
they are missing large chunks of land or history and this has led
to major confusion and stress. We have had a massive job in explaining
to members that these letters must only be seen as an acknowledgement
that the RPA has received a claim and there is still work to be
done” said Mr Haydon.
“At this stage we need to make a bad situation better and
ensure that we have a system for 2006 that is untainted by the
problems experienced with 2005 claims” said Mr Haydon.
In view of this the TFA has demanded the following:
• The complete validation of all 2005 claims achieved by
close of play Friday 24 March. Sufficient resources should be found
from wherever to achieve this with no excuses.
• Payments to be made to applicants’ bank accounts
within 7 days of validation.
• The establishment of a special unit, competently staffed,
to deal with double claims caused by landlords submitting claims
without the knowledge of their tenants who have also done so.
• Detailed entitlement statements to include the methodology
to check them.
• RLE1 forms should be abandoned for land transfers and
allow changes in land areas to be made on 2006 application forms.
• The transfer notification period for entitlement trading
should be reduced to 4 weeks.
• Blank SP5 and RLE1 forms should be made available now
particularly for agents.
• The establishment of a special
unit, competently staffed, to deal with FVP entitlement issues
which along with land swaps are causing huge problems.
• Recognition by the RPA of the huge number of mapping
problems that still exist to be resolved and that these should
be dealt with as soon as possible.
CAP payments to farmers will begin in February
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