RPA investigating incomplete SP5 forms, but farmers still furious

The Rural Payments Agency has claimed that it is investigating why some farmers have received their 2006 Single Payment Scheme application forms with their field data and entitlements missing.

But farmers are growing increasingly angry that the 2006 application process seems to be getting more complicated by the day, pointing out that it adds insult to injury when most producers haven’t even got their 2005 payments.

The agency has said that it will be writing to all customers who have been affected to apologise and to advise them of the options open to them.

It will tell farmers they have the choice of completing the form manually, although they may need to request more field date sheets to do so.

Alternatively, they can ask for a pre-populated form, although this might take two weeks to get to them.

But one farmer has contacted Farmers Weekly to say the advice coming from the agency is conflicting.

“I rang the helpline who categorically told me they could not send out new forms and that I had no option but to fill all the fields in manually,” said the farmer.

“I said we had 53 fields and that there was only room for 14 and he said he would send me some spare forms. I told him he was having a laugh!!

“I then asked to speak to his manager who said he’d look into getting me new forms with the information pre-populated but it would be after Easter. Conflicting information! It’s an absolute nightmare.”

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