Press release

SPS 2014 – RPA creates new record on first day payments

The Rural Payments Agency achieves best-ever performance on first day of payment window.

Figures issued today (8 December) show the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has already surpassed last year’s performance on Single Payment Scheme (SPS) by making more payments than ever before on the first banking day of the payment window, meeting its end of December targets four weeks ahead of schedule.

The Agency paid out £1,370,328,624 to 96,669 SPS customers. This equates to 95 per cent of all SPS customers and 91.4 per cent of the total estimated fund value. The target was for 93 per cent of customers and 86 per cent of total estimated fund value to be paid out by 31 December.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

Over the last four years the Rural Payments Agency has improved beyond recognition and I am delighted that once again almost all farmers received their CAP funding on the first day of the payment window. I congratulate everyone involved at the Agency in achieving another record-breaking performance in the final year of the Single Payment Scheme.

Food and farming is an economic powerhouse of our economy, worth £100 billion and employing one in eight people. I am determined to do everything I can to help this vital industry to thrive. That is why we are making the new CAP rules as simple and flexible as possible so that farmers can concentrate on continuing to provide high quality British food.

Mark Grimshaw, RPA Chief Executive, said:

This performance shows just how far we have come in our drive to become a trusted, efficient and effective organisation and I want to thank our people and our industry partners who worked so hard to achieve this outcome.

It delivers on our Business Plan pledge to continue offering the best service possible to farmers by maintaining our high performance, whilst preparing to deliver on new CAP policies and a new rural payments system next year.

If farmers want to be paid as early as possible next year, then I would urge them to register on the new rural payments online service as soon as invited to do so. That’s because for this, the first year of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), there will be lots to do as we gather new information and ask farmers to check that the details we hold are still correct. Once all their details are correct on our new online service it will be a lot quicker to apply in future years.

Full written ministerial statement issued today:

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment Scheme 2014

8 December 2014

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Elizabeth Truss): The window for payments to farmers in England under the EU CAP Single Payment Scheme (SPS) for 2014 opened on 1 December 2014.

The Rural Payments Agency paid more customers than ever before on the first day and had already, on the first banking day, exceeded the end of December targets for payments.

The Agency paid out £1,370,328,624 to 96,669 SPS customers. This equates to 95.00 per cent of all SPS customers and 91.4 per cent of the total estimated fund value. The target was for 93 per cent of customers and 86 per cent of total estimated fund value to be paid out by 31 December.

Over the last four years the Rural Payments Agency has improved beyond recognition and I am delighted that once again almost all farmers received their CAP funding on the first day of the payment window. I congratulate everyone involved at the Agency in achieving another record-breaking performance in the final year of the Single Payment Scheme.

Food and farming is an economic powerhouse of our economy, worth £100 billion and employing one in eight people. I am determined to do everything I can to help this vital industry to thrive. That is why we are making the new CAP rules as simple and flexible as possible so that farmers can concentrate on continuing to provide high quality British food.

I will keep the House updated on the Agency’s progress against delivery to customers on 2014 payments.