POLITICS: Farmers to Get Interest on Delayed Money
Byline: David Miliband
Farmers who do not soon receive all the money due to them under a payments scheme dogged by delays will be paid interest, the Government announced yesterday.
Environment Food and Rural Affairs Secretary David Miliband again apologised to farmers who have not got their cash under the Single Payments Scheme, which replaced other subsidy payments.
He told the Commons "some progress" had been made in catching up with the backlog in payments but the situation was still "far from satisfactory in a number of respects".
As of Tuesday this week, pounds 1.38 billion representing over 90 per cent of the total SPS fund had been paid to over 100,000 applicants.
More than 82,000 claims had been settled in full and over 18,000 applicants had received a partial interim payment.
But thousands of other payments had not been made and, after representations by farming leaders, those who did not get the full sum by the end of this month would receive interest.
Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth welcomed "modest progress" but added that this "appalling fiasco" had caused hardship for many in the farming industry at a time of "profound change".
Many questions remained to be answered about why the problems arose in the first place, he added. …