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Rural Payments Agency

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 7th November 2006.

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Photo of Jim Cousins Jim Cousins Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne Central 3:33 pm, 7th November 2006

Does my right hon. Friend acknowledge that the Rural Payments Agency attempted to solve its problems by hiring agency workers, who were drawn into the processing centres from all parts of England, on a mass basis? Does he acknowledge that more than half the workers at the processing centre in Newcastle were agency workers employed on a short-term basis? That happened for a long time. That is no way to go on. Many hundreds of my constituents would love to have a proper job on a proper basis providing proper service to him and to the farmers of England.