£260 Million Worth Of SFP Benefit Farmers

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Minister Michelle Gildernew MP has announced that £259.5million was paid out to local farmers in Single Farm Payments (SFP) during December 2009 and January 2010.
calendar icon 3 February 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The aim was to make 83 per cent of payments by the end of December and 90 per cent by the end of January 2010.The final figures show that 84.6 per cent of farmers received their payment by 31 December and 91 per cent by the end of January.

Discussing progress to date on 09/10 single farm payments, the Minister said: “In these challenging times for everyone we have been able to pay more farmers at an earlier stage than ever before. Over the past two months more than £259.5million has been paid out.”

The Minister explained that further targets have been set for the next two months: “All possible steps are being taken to ensure that all the remaining cases are paid the correct amounts at the earliest possible date. We aim to complete 94 per cent of claims by the end of February and 96 per cent by the end of March.”

Commenting on the claims not yet finalised the Minister said: “The Commission rules require us to carry out administrative and on- farm checks to verify claims before a payment can be made. Many of the remaining cases require complex calculations to take account of mapping changes and reductions in the land area eligible for payment. This can be due to issues such as encroachment of scrub and buildings, which were identified at an on-farm inspection and means that payments in inspection cases can take longer to process. In some cases, these discrepancies may result in penalties being imposed. However, good progress is being made and a significant number of inspection cases have already been paid.”

Explaining that farmers can help to avoid delays in their payments the Minister said: “Farmers can also do their bit to reduce delays by making sure that their maps are accurate and up to date and by making sure they don’t claim on ineligible land. I can’t stress enough how important it is that farmers tell us about changes. It is not in our interest to spend time adjusting claims nor is it in the farmer’s interest to have their payments delayed and, in many cases, penalties applied.”

A payment may not be due in all of the cases not yet finalised because of ineligibility or the application of penalties under scheme rules.

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