Junior DEFRA minister Lord Rooker has apologised once again for delays in 2005 single farm payments and promised that the aim is to complete them as soon as possible.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Monday (19 December), Lord Rooker said that as of 14 December there were 480 claimants waiting for full payments and 1254 waiting for a top-up.

“Of the 480 claims for which a full payment is due the top 10 in terms of monetary value all relate to probate cases,” he said.

“I cannot go beyond that. That is no different from what would have happened under the old IACS payment system.”

He added: “The payments are going out. We want to complete the 2005 payments as soon as possible, but because of the complexities of claims, particularly involving business relationships and probate, it will take some time, as was the case under the previous system.”