English farmers paying the price for Government incompetence - again
In a joint statement the NFU, CLA and TFA said: “This confirms our worst fears about the ability of the RPA to deliver 2006 single payments. We have strongly argued for a part payment and for a clear timetable, so to that extent, we are relieved David Miliband has listened to our case.
“However this still leaves much of the industry in financial difficulties and we are very disappointed the payment is less and later than we wanted. We do recognise ministers’ determination not to make promises they cannot keep, but we sincerely hope this really is the worst case scenario and in practice more than 50 per cent will be paid earlier than the end of February.”
The three organisations are continuing to urge the RPA to improve its performance, but additional accounting complications this year mean fines for making incorrect payments without all due checks and processes will result in Defra being fined rather than central government.
The NFU, CLA and TFA said: “This is an unfair double hit on the rural community. First, the single payment is paid late, affecting not only farmers but dependent businesses and the wider rural community. Then Defra’s budget is cut to the tune of £200m, which impacts on vital issues like flood defence, land drainage, animal health and the environment. Nfuonline
In other news:
Officials in the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs
received more than £7 million in bonuses in the last two years despite
the failure of the English single farm payments scheme, a provision for
£131 million of losses in the accounts, as well as financial crisis in
British farming....Details from Hansard