Well, some good news has come from the Rural Payments Agency – not before time! They are ahead of target in paying farmers. In the bad years, I can remember farmers in North East Herts waiting years to be paid, even though I was pressing for action.
The Agency pays the Common Agricultural policy money to farmers and has been very poor in its performance since 2005. The EU has fined it £300million. However, this year they had met their June target in March, paying out over 95 per cent. I do give the credit to Minister Jim Paice, who has really pushed for better efforts, and obviously succeeded.
Jim’s plan for the future is at http://www.rpa.defra.gov.uk