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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

It is obviously taxpayers' money that is paid to farmers on the basis of their historic payment and their acreage. I would be happy to write to the hon. Gentleman with further details of the EU rules. I have said that a minimum of 50 per cent. should be paid and that the EU rules require a high level of validation before partial payments can be made. There are then specific limits on what proportion of the payment claim can be made. I have been clear in stating that we will not pay less than 50 per cent. and that every partial payment must, in accord with the EU rules, be at least that. As I said, I would be happy to write to the hon. Gentleman with more detailed information about the precise way in which those rules operate.