Farmers may still be waiting to have their single farm payment queries resolved at the end of this year, says the NFU’s chief legal adviser Julie Robinson.

Ms Robinson said although the government has managed to get 95% of last year’s payments out, there are some fundamental issues that still need to be sorted.

“The RPA has said there are still significant volumes of correspondence to deal with from people who have queries or who believe they have been sent the wrong payment,” she said.

“The prospects for dealing with them quickly are not good.

I think we will get to the end of this year and some people will not have had their positions clarified.”

An RPA spokesman said:

“In the first year of implementing the Single Payment Scheme there has inevitably been an increase in the amount of customer mail awaiting individual answers.

The letters have been opened, scanned on to the system, individually logged and are being actioned.

“Many of the items of post are queries in connection with the SPS 2006 scheme year and are being dealt with, some are queries in connection with SPS 2005 payments made or pending.

RPA has people and processes in place to deal with the mail effectively and in a prioritised way.”