The Rural Payments Agency has released figures which show that over 97% of farmers are still waiting for their single farm payment.
The latest payment figures (Wednesday 8 March) show that it has now paid 3042 customers a total of £23,981,034, representing 2.54% of the claimant population.
The news is likely to inflame an already-angry farming community, who were told last week that 2400 farmers had been paid.
Producers are already incensed that so many of them have been sent unvalidated entitlement statements, without enough guidance to allow them to check them.
They are also livid that their covering letters give them no specific reason why their individual application has not been validated or any idea of when they might get paid.
A statement from the RPA read:
“Progress has been slow this week as the system has thrown up a number of claim batches which require investigation, slowing down authorisations and payments over the last few days so we can ensure the best level of accuracy with the payments we are making.
“Those issues have now been resolved and we are picking up pace again on payments.
“While following this prudent operating practice, which has been our consistent approach throughout, we have also been working on preparing additional batches of thousands of payments ready for authorisation and expect to see these significant numbers released and in customers’ bank accounts in the next few days.
“In this way, we are able to continue to work within our overall payment delivery timetable.
“There will be periodic peaks and troughs in the payment cycle as we progress, which in isolation do not give an accurate picture of overall progress.
“Our next significant milestone is the end of March, by which time we aim to have met our target of making the bulk of payments and we continue working towards that.”