NFU slams RPA inaction

The NFU has said it is “unacceptable” that the Rural Payments Agency is refusing to contact those farmers who are yet to receive any single farm payment.

Julie Robinson, chief legal adviser, said farm leaders had asked the RPA last week to consider setting up some means of personal contact so the 3300 farmers affected can find out what is preventing their claim from being paid.

But she said so far this was not happening.

“The whole situation is appalling and is causing farmers considerable stress,” she said.

“Why can’t the RPA just pick up the phone and tell farmers why they haven’t at least got partial payment?”

An RPA spokesman said farmers who were yet to receive any payment were the agency’s top priority.

But he claimed contacting every producer would slow things down.

Processing of claims has slowed anyway in the past week because the RPA has closed down its computer system for another “upgrade”.

The system has been down from 26 May and will restart on 5 June.

Latest figures show that by the end of Tuesday, 30 May, 95,674 farmers had been paid either a full or partial payment.

The total amount of money that has been paid out is £1.32bn.

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