'Whole rural economy is under threat'

UK - NFU has no confidence in Rural Payments Agency, reports the NPA
calendar icon 18 January 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

NFU council expressed its frustration with the Rural Payments Agency at its meeting today following impassioned speeches by individual members.

Traditionally farmers have received their CAP payments between October and January of each year but the switch to the new Single Payment Scheme has meant a delay in processing by the Rural Payments Agency.

In October Lord Bach assured the NFU the revised payments would start in February 2006 but the NFU is concerned that this deadline will not be met.

Doubts were raised this month when Lord Bach admitted the Rural Payments Agency still had “400,000 tasks to complete“.

Tasks are individual processes before the payments can be calculated. Defra is refusing to guarantee that the payments will be made on time.

Tim Bennett said: “Every council member was angry and dismayed to hear that farmers’ payments are likely to be delayed. Many of our members are already up to the limit on what they can borrow from their banks so their backs are up against the wall.

“It’s not just an issue for farmers; their suppliers are also struggling because bills that should have been settled by now are still outstanding. The whole of the rural economy is under threat.“

Source: the National Pig Association - 18th January 2006

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