17 July 1998

OSR penalties hit

ADVANCE oilseed payments will be scaled back this September for the first time, as Brussels slaps on penalties incurred last year.

Normally the 50% advance area aid is paid in full. Any adjustments for exceeding base area or world reference price are made to balancing payments the following March.

But with some countries, including the UK, having penalties rolled over from last year, and with more over-planting this season, Brussels is worried that even the advance payments may be too much.

To avoid a situation where it actually has to reclaim money from producers, the commission is holding back on first payments, too.

In the case of the UK, this amounts to 6.62%. &#42