The highest ever proportion of Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payments were released by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) this month, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice announced today.
Since the RPA began making 2011 SPS payments on December 1, it has paid 87 per cent of farmers eligible under the scheme, against a target of 86 per cent. This represented 81 per cent of the estimated value of total payments for 2011, against a target of 78 per cent.
This was the highest ever proportion of payments made in the whole of December - and was achieved two weeks ahead of schedule. It amounted to over £1.4 billion, paid to over 91,400 farmers.
Jim Paice, who is also Chair of the RPA Oversight Board, said:
“This is the best ever performance in December and a good example of the improvements being made at the RPA.
“But I’m determined to keep driving things forward so that the remaining payments are made as soon as it’s possible.”
To help with business planning, the RPA has advised farmers who have not yet been paid about the work that remains to be done and the normal timing for completion.