Rural Payments Agency

House of Lords written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach Shadow Minister, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why all payments by the Rural Payments Agency after 16 October 2008 will have to go directly into a claimant's bank account; which piece of European legislation requires this; and how many claimants do not presently have a bank account.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

EC Regulation No 885/2006 requires all payments funded under European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), including those under the single payment scheme, to be made directly into bank accounts from 16 October 2008. This method provides faster payment to customers and is not disrupted by postal problems. In addition, it is more secure than payable orders thus helping to prevent fraud and providing better protection for UK and EU taxpayers.

RPA is not aware how many of its claimants do not presently have a bank account but identified 39,126 potentially active claimants for whom it does not currently have bank account details. Those claimants are being asked to provide those details to the agency and I would encourage all farmers to respond as soon as possible.

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