SFP patience with RPA wearing thin

Farmers still waiting to be paid their single farm payment are questioning why it is taking so long for the Rural Payments Agency to deal with their cases.

The RPA said this week that just 134 commercial producers are waiting for 100% of their payment, although another 7954 people are waiting for a top-up payment.

But the farmers who are waiting say they cannot understand the length of time it is taking to get through the backlog.

“Even if the cases are tricky, why is everything taking so long?,” one producer told Farmers Weekly. “The figures just aren’t dropping fast enough.”

Oxfordshire producer Richard Strainge of Springhill Farm, High Cogges, Witney said he had received a payment on 27 July from an emergency fund. But he said queries about his claim had yet to be resolved and he still does not have an entitlement statement.

“The thing that bugs me the most is that I can’t do anything to change the situation. They won’t let me go to the office and sort it out. But I feel if we could just sit down together, with all the paperwork, we could solve all this in half an hour.”

An RPA spokesman said each of the category one claimants had been assigned an individual case manager and work was ongoing to clear up issues connected with things like liquidation, probate or divorce.

“The bulk of the outstanding cases – 118 – is complex cases and these are not easy to resolve.”