Press release

Update on Single Payment Scheme

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice updated Parliament today on the progress of payments to farmers under the Single Payment Scheme.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice updated Parliament today on the progress of payments to farmers under the Single Payment Scheme.

Mr Paice said:

I am pleased to confirm that as at the end of 1 December, the first day of the 2011 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payment window, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) had released payments totalling over £1.2 billion (71.6% of the estimated total fund) to some 84,600 English farmers (80.8% of the estimated total of eligible claimants).  Payments to farmers will continue to be made as soon as validation of their claims is complete, with the values adjusted to reflect any significant outstanding overpayments from previous years. There remains much to do, but this promising beginning places RPA in a good position to meet its first SPS 2011 performance indicator, namely to pay 78% of the total estimated fund value to a minimum of 86% of eligible claimants by the end of December 2011.

In line with the commitment in my statement of 8 November (col. 12WS), RPA will write in early December to those farmers who are unlikely to be paid during the month in order to both explain the additional work that is required to validate their claim and provide an indicative timescale for how long that type of work can take. While it will not be possible to provide specific dates when payments will be made, I hope the additional information being supplied this year will help farmers with business planning.

I will continue to keep the House informed on the Agency’s progress.