Bishop of St Albans asks about delays in farm payments

On 20th July 2016 the Earl of Shrewsbury asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress has been made to rectify delays in payments from the Single Farm Payment Scheme.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

St Albans 2The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, those of us in touch with the farming community are deeply aware of the 13,000 cases that are being reassessed at the moment, and we are grateful for what is being done to expedite that. The important question is: how will the system be reviewed and resourced so that this does not happen in future years? Can the Minister assure us that something is being done to guarantee that we have a better system? In particular, will he reconsider appointing a specific case worker for each application to try to see them through?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: My Lords, there are close working relationships in some of the RPA centres, but I will take that back. I understand that of the numbers in payment reconciliation, the 13,000, 1,400 have already been completed. We want to make progress on this. One other thing I should have said before is that quite a number of people at the RPA are working on this—between 800 and 1,000—so the RPA considers itself perfectly well resourced to undertake this.