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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 Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet 3:33 pm, 7th November 2006

My understanding is that there are some 9,000 claims pending and several thousand outstanding 2005 queries that still have yet to be addressed. As the Minister said, those are impacting on the current year. As my right hon. Friend Mr. Curry said, that is causing an overlap of yet another year. Hundreds of farmers in the south-east and their families are facing a miserable Christmas as a result. In his statement, the Minister said that payments would be made for not less than50 per cent. of claim value, but in every answer that he has given since, it has become immediately apparent that that means not more than 50 per cent. either. If farmers in my constituency, and others in the south-east, have to wait until mid-February, why cannot the figure be 80 per cent.?