CLA comments on new Public Accounts Committee on the CAP Delivery Programme

02 March 2016

CLA Director of Policy Christopher Price has commented on the Public Accounts Committee’s report on the CAP Delivery Programme, published today. 

The CLA represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses. CLA Director of Policy Christopher Price said: “The Public Accounts Committee report published today confirms concerns we have been raising for many months over the delivery of vital payments to farmers.

“It is very difficult for farms to make essential plans for their business operations when they are under a cloud of uncertainty about when they will receive the payment they are waiting for. We are pleased the Committee’s recommendations support our calls for clear milestones to be set out, by the end of June 2016, for when Defra expects to pay farmers for future years and when it will return to previous performance levels.

“There is a pressing need for better and more regular communications with claimants that are being paid late. We would stress that this sits alongside the need for the RPA (Rural Payments Agency) to ensure that all outstanding payments to farmers are made as soon as possible. Farmers operate on low margins and the impact of late payment on their business’ cash flow should not be underestimated.

“The Committee’s report sets out recommendations to help ensure that the failings in delivery of this year’s BPS are tackled and processes are improved from here on. The application window for 2016 opens later this month and setting out a better path forward is important. We will continue to work closely with Defra and the RPA to ensure that our members do not experience the same frustrations over and again.”