|Farmers’ payment scheme
‘out of control’, says MP
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Commons public accounts committee, has said that the Rural Payments Agency still does not have proper control of the Single Payment Scheme.
Mr Bacon said: “The Rural Payment Agency’s failure to get a grip on the Single Payment Scheme is still proving toxic for England’s farmers”.
“Ministers went ahead on the back of bad advice. What officials said was possible was, in fact, impossible. As a result, chaos ensued”.
“Four years later, the Agency still does not have proper control of the scheme and the government has been forced to set aside over £200 million to cover disallowance of expenditure and the imposition of penalties by the European Commission”.
“Farmers across mainland Europe should thank their lucky stars that their payments are not administrated by the Rural Payments Agency”.
Mr Bacon was speaking as the Commons public accounts committee published its report into the Rural Payments Agency’s progress in resolving the difficulties in administering the Single Payment Scheme in England. The report finds that the Rural Payments Agency has not yet managed to bring the administration of the Single Payment Scheme properly under control.
Failings in implementing the Scheme have led to the risk of
significant disallowance of expenditure and the imposition of
penalties by the European Commission. The Department’s 2005–06 and
2006–07 accounts included total provisions of some £220 million for
disallowance, and £70 million accruals and contingent liabilities
for possible late payment penalties in respect of the Single Payment
Scheme in England.
15 July 2008
|© Richard Bacon 2010|