DEFRA secretary David Miliband has admitted that it looks likely that the UK has just missed the EU deadline of paying 96.14% of all single farm payments by 30 June.

In a written ministerial statement, published on Wednesday (5 July), the minister said that the Rural Payments Agency had paid out about 94.9% of England’s payment pot and it looked like the UK, as a whole, had paid somewhere between 95% and 96%.

“The indications are that the UK is likely to have paid between 95% and 96% of payments by 30 June. If this is confirmed, we will, as previously indicated, have further discussions with the European Commission about the application of the payment reduction rules (fines on government).”

The statement revealed that there are now about 8500 claimants in England who are still to receive any money and 16,168 waiting for a top-up (20%) payment. 

“Of the estimated 8500 claimants who have yet to receive a payment, approximately 460 currently have a claim value of more than €1,000,” said Mr Miliband.

“Some of these are in a category that it is not possible to pay at present, for example because RPA is awaiting information from claimants. 

“However, the majority require further action from the RPA and those cases will remain the Agency’s number one priority to resolve as quickly as possible.”

Mr Miliband will be online on Thursday to discuss the future of farming, a subject which he spoke about at the Royal Show on Monday (3 July).

The minister, who already writes his own blog, will be availableto answer questions about his ‘one planet farming’ concept from 12.15pm to 1pm on Thursday (July 6th).

Single farm payment scheme special report