04-12-2013 10:51 AM | Arable, Cereal, Crops, Finance, News

Agency makes payments to highest number of English farmers



Agency makes payments to highest number of English farmers
The Rural Payments Agency has paid the highest ever number of customers in England on the first banking day of this year’s payment window – some 95,600.

The payments, reaching 92.3 per cent of the RPA’s Single Payment Scheme customers, represent 89.3 per cent of the estimated fund value, £1.48bn in total.



Mark Grimshaw, RPA Chief Executive, said: “Today we have delivered nearly £1.5bn on the first banking day of the payment window, £100m more than we did on the same day last year, to the highest number of customers in England. This shows just how far the Agency has come over the past few years and further demonstrates our commitment to delivering a first class service to farmers.

“But this is just the first day of payments, and we will continue to work hard with farmers to ensure the remaining payments are made promptly and accurately over the coming days and weeks.”

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Thanks to the hard work of its staff, the Rural Payments Agency is continuing to improve its service to farmers, this year transferring payments more promptly than ever before.” He announced the performance figures by way of Written Ministerial Statement, the full text of which can be found below:

The window for payments to farmers in England under the EU CAP Single Payment Scheme (SPS) for 2013 opened on 1 December 2013.

On 2 December 2013, the first banking day of the payment window, the Rural Payments Agency paid over £1.48bn to 95,600 farmers, more than ever before on the first banking day of the payment window. This equates to 89.3 per cent of the estimated fund value and 92.3 per cent of customers. This represents the highest number of customers receiving their payments from the Rural Payments Agency on this day, which continues to build on the Agency’s best ever performance last year. This is excellent news for English farmers and for the wider rural economy.

The Agency will shortly contact all of those farmers who are unlikely to receive their payments in December to explain what further work is necessary to validate their claims and to set out an estimated timetable for payment.

The Agency is working to a commitment, set out in its Business Plan for 2013-14, to pay 86 per cent of payments by value and 93 per cent of customers by number by 31 December 2013 and 97 per cent of payments by value and 97 per cent of customers by the 31st March 2014.

The payments made on the first banking day equate to 89.3 per cent of the estimated fund value, meaning the Agency has already exceeded its end of December target of 86 per cent, paying £100m more on the first day this year than it did last year. I will keep the House updated on its progress against delivery to customers.

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