12,000 Single Payments facing major delays

Cuts to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) could significantly affect Single Payment delivery, the NFU has said.

The decision to end the processing of Single Payment orders at the RPA Newcastle office comes with 12,000 Single Payments outstanding from 2009. According to the NFU, the staff cutbacks would have an effect on farmers seeking Single Payments, with some cases dating back to 2005.

RPA staff cutbacks are likely to continue as the agency targets a workforce of 3,500 by the end of the year, down from 4,300 in 2007.

Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick insisted that RPA budget cuts “will not impair” the RPA’s performance, which was “clearly improving”.

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