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Farm payments - no quick deal

[Thursday 06 April 2006]

DESPITE an angry meeting yesterday between Rural Payments Agency officials and the leaders of the three main farming organisations, the crisis-hit agency was unable to promise fast payment even as a one-off emergency measure.

No quick payments for Dales hill farmers
No quick payments for Dales hill farmers

With tens of thousands of English farmers waiting for farm support cheques which should have been paid last year, the Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers' Union and Tenant Farmers Association were given depressing news about the progress in validating claims and making payments to farmers.

They had asked for emergency payments to be made under the old system - scrapped by the Government in attempts to reform the infamous Common Agricultural Policy - but the RPA was unable to give guarantees as to when such grants would be paid.

CLA President David Fursdon said: "The speed with which Government acts and gets payments out will be an indication of how much they understand the problems faced by farmers and all those who depend on them within the wider rural economy."

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