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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 David Miliband David Miliband Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:33 pm, 7th November 2006

I think that I understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman correctly, but I will be happy to write to him, or he can write to me. If he is saying that the Government will have to consider next year whether to pay interest on payments that are not made during the window period, he is raising a wholly legitimate point. The Government faced that situation this year and have paid interest on the payments made outside the window. Although I cannot make a commitment today, he raises a perfectly legitimate point if he is saying that if—I underline that word—next June, there are payments that have not been made in the window, we must consider Government practice on the matter, given that there is an established precedent. However, at the moment, all my energies are focused on making sure that the payments are made.