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Yet another rap for RPA

[Thursday 06 September 2007]
RPA
Yet another rap for RPA

THE much abused Rural Payments Agency, widely condemned for its incompetence in failing to pay thousands of English farmers new EU subsidies, will receive another sharp rap over the knuckles today after a Parliamentary investigation.

The RPA drove hundreds of farmers to the verge of bankruptcy when it introduced complex new rules for payment. Other UK farmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were paid on time using a simpler system although RPA officials privately blamed the delay on political interference.

Some 100,000 farmers failed to get their share of a £1.5 billion EU subsidy pot promised for March last year, according to reports by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which describes the incident as "a master class in bad decision making and poor planning."

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