03 July 2008 - Ref 32/08
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Hilary Benn:
As at 30 June, the end of the regulatory payment window for the 2007 Single Payment Scheme, a total of £1.431 billion, representing some 98.7 per cent of the estimated total fund had been paid in full payments to 103,485 (97 per cent) claimants.
These figures confirm that the Agency has helped to ensure that the UK as a whole has met the EU requirement that 96.154 per cent of 2007 scheme payments be made by 30 June. This follows earlier confirmation that the Agency had met its formal performance targets for this scheme year as set out the statement of my Honourable Friend the Member for Brent North, (Barry Gardiner), 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 20WS.
Reaching these targets demonstrates a continued improvement in RPA performance and is another important step towards the Agency again providing an acceptable level of service to its customers. I am very grateful to RPA staff who have worked long and hard to make this happen.
Of the outstanding 2007 claims on which processing is not complete, approximately 700 are expected to result in a payment in due course. Work continues to complete the necessary validation of those claims as soon as possible. Interest will be paid to claimants on sums paid after 30 June on the same basis as for the 2005 and 2006 schemes.
Alongside that work, RPA has already begun processing the 106,000 or so claims that have been submitted under the 2008 SPS in order to achieve the more challenging targets for payments (set out in the statement of my Honourable Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford, (Jonathan Shaw), 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 51WS) which also take account of the fact that some corrective work remains to be carried out on a proportion of claims.
Against this background, I would again like to thank the farming industry for its continuing support and patience.
Page published: 3 July 2008