The Welsh government has said its decision to stick with the 15 May deadline for subsidy applications has been justified after only 105 farmers missed the closing date.
Wales had the option to follow England and Scotland in delaying the deadline until 15 June, a choice offered by Brussels to help farmers cope with complex changes to CAP support forms.
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But the Welsh government decided that its application system was sufficiently straight forward. It also believed that the extra time for processing completed forms would help its officials to make payments on time.
In total 17,063 Single Application Forms (SAFs) were sent in to government offices. Of these 16,958 met the 15 May deadline. The remaining 105 arrived between 15 May and 9 June. These farmers will face penalties and see their payments reduced.
Deputy farm minister Rebecca Evans said that this was a far lower number of late applications than in previous years.
“This performance justifies my decision to keep to the 15 May deadline, and will help us to deliver payments as early in the payments period as possible,” Mrs Evans said.
“I am very aware of the importance of cashflow for farmers and this is why I decided against taking up the option to extend the deadline.
“Any delay to the receipt of SAFs would inevitably have knock-on impacts to part payments under the BPS and to payments on existing land-based rural development schemes,” the deputy minister said.
“I am pleased that 72% of SAFs submitted were submitted online. This is an excellent achievement, and places us in a good position to move to 100% online next year,” she added.