Daniel Kawczynski, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on
Dairy Farming and MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, has reacted angrily
to media reports that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) had ‘massaged
figures’ on Single Farm Payments to farmers in the UK.
The media report by a regional newspaper claims that on investigating
the RPA there is a discrepancy in the number of farmers still owed
payments by the Government. The RPA state that 1,700 farmers out
of 116,000 are still awaiting final payments from the Single Farm
Payment scheme for 2005. However the investigation showed that the
real figure is closer to 21,000 farmers who have received either
too little, incorrect or no payments for 2005.
Mr Kawczynski said, “for the RPA to differentiate between
those who have not received final payments, and those who have
received incorrect payments, is an attempt to massage figures:
either way the amount paid is incorrect.”
“DEFRA fails our farmers time and time again. This Labour
Government does not care about the countryside and the people in
it, but just sees it as mechanism for environmental protection.
Farming is an industry and should be treated as such. The RPA has
failed to deliver to farmers the payments they are regulated to
“It is typical of an over-bureaucratic EU policy and yet
another example of the failures of the EU’s Common Agriculture
Policy. This Government should do more - sorting out the Single
Farm Payments for 2006 and 2007 must be a priority.”
Mr Kawczynski will continue to scrutinise the RPA over the coming
months as payments for 2006 begin. “Let’s hope that
lessons have been learn, so the misery, frustration and hardship
we saw last year will be avoided,” he concluded.
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