THE NFU is seeking an urgent meeting with DEFRA minister Lord Bach to discuss growing signs that the single farm payment will be delayed more than expected.
Senior officials from DEFRA and the RPA announced on Tues (Jul 12) that the current projection is to start making payments in Feb 2006 and “achieve 96% by the end of March 2006”.
Farmers had been hoping that the very latest they would get their payment was February.
NFU President Tim Bennett said he was extremely disappointed with the decision, although sadly not surprised.
“We will continue to seek payment of the SPS as soon as practical in 2006 and want to reiterate to DEFRA that an advance payment should also be made.
“This payment is essential for the cash flow of many farm businesses as well as those supplying farms. The NFU has already called on banks to be understanding of farm businesses at this time.”