Single Farm Payments

Part of Agriculture and Rural Development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 15 March 2011.

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Photo of Michelle Gildernew Michelle Gildernew Sinn Féin 2:15, 15 March 2011

Absolutely. In common with the Committee Chairman, I have pointed out that 1,915 claims are still outstanding. It is great to get 95% of claims paid, but we need to concentrate now on getting that 5% over the line.

One reason for our not being able to process farmers’ money is that we have moved to a system whereby all transactions are done under BACS, that is, automatic account transaction, and some farmers have still not shared their account details with us. We would like everybody to give us that information. Their accounts do not have to be in a bank; they could be in a credit union. We encourage farmers to give us that information. I want to pay out that money as quickly as I possibly can. The review will be very important, in that we can look at all the issues on the timing of inspections, the use of satellite imagery and everything else to try to pay those people quicker.