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    No Joy From Rooker On Partial Payments
16/10/06

The Tenant Farmers Association has told DEFRA Minister Lord Rooker that he must make an early announcement on a commitment to make partial payments under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) for 2006 applicants.



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Speaking after a his meeting with Lord Rooker at the end of last week, TFA National Chairman Reg Haydon said “We had previously been promised an announcement on this in October, then the Secretary of State talked about something coming in November but now Lord Rooker will not commit to any date for the announcement or even if partial payments will be made at all.  All we got was a restatement of the legal position that payments for the 2006 SPS scheme have to be made before June 2007”. 
 
“This is no help to my members who are desperately trying to forecast their financial position and cash flow for next year.  Without an early partial payment it will be another year of severe hardship for tenant farmers who are still dealing with the consequences of the problems of 2005 payments which, despite the Government spin, are far from being resolved” said Mr Haydon.
 
Another, cross industry meeting on SPS is to be held with the Minister today but he made has made it clear to the TFA that he will be in no position to make any commitments at that meeting either.
 
“Frustrations are running high.  Everyone knows the SPS computer system is a mess and that the poor old RPA staff are having to implement a policy that doesn’t work, on computers that can’t cope using a badly designed programme.  The acting Chief Executive has said that it will be two years before the system nears an acceptable level of operation so partial payments early in the New Year have got to be part of the plan.  Without them we face misery again in 2007” said Mr Haydon.

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Tenant Farmers Association
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