The Rural Payments Agency has admitted that it has made an error in the header on some Hill Farm Allowance part payment statements which has caused some confusion.

The statements contain an incorrect 2005 header when they should contain a 2006 header.

This is because these are payments in respect of the 2006 HFA scheme, not 2005 which was completed and closed last year.

“The confusion has been compounded by some customers currently being in receipt of SPS 2005 claim monies and statements, as the SPS 2005 regulatory payment window closed three weeks ago on 30 June and RPA is still paying a small proportion of remaining customers,” said a statement.

The RPA has claimed that about 70% of the 10,000 customers due to receive HFA money have now received a full or part payment with over £14 million paid out so far.

The agency has said it is committed to paying the remainder of the payments as quickly as possible, using part payments where necessary to get as much money out to the industry as speedily as possible.

In cases of HFA part payments the amount is based on the proportion of the claim on which validation has been completed unlike the SPS partial payment which is based on a fixed 80% amount.

Claims that have been fully validated are receiving full payments and part payment recipients are receiving a top-up once validation is complete, along with a payment statement itemising how the payment has been calculated.