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Country News - 2005

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Paperwork mountain threatens farm payments

Tuesday 27 September 2005

FARMERS and landowners who have applied for payments from the newly created Rural Payments Agency (RPA) are being warned to fill in yet another form - or risk missing not getting paid for years ahead.

The RPA, set up to handle the new single farm payments scheme brought in as part of the reforms to the notorious EU Common Agricultural Policy, has already established a reputation for laborious red-tape demands. Some critics allege that it is snowed-under with new regulations and cannot cope.

Now, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is warning people that yet another form is on its way, labelled SP5e, demanding proof that claimants under the National Reserve scheme have already submitted their claims. Some are also being asked to provide more information than was required in their original claim.

This new strand of red-tape will cause even more anger to farmers already choking in the stuff - but the CLA is urging them to fill in the new form before November 4 or risk losing some of their payments for the next seven years.

Mark Hudson, CLA President said: "The CLA continues to watch the RPA closely. Indeed we have written to express our concerns over the complete lack of public information on RPA's progress in handling the applications since the closing date on 16 May 2005. We are seeking reassurance that they are on track to make nearly all payments in February and March next year."


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