22nd July 2010
I am glad that after 5 years of incompetence the Rural Payments Agency will finally be reviewed and overhauled. Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has made it plain that he is not prepared to brush the problem under the carpet like the previous government.
The RPA hands out over £2.3bn of often late and incorrect, farming payments every year and has been fined over £280 million in EU fines for its inefficiency. All this in spite of £304m being spent on extra staff since it was created in 2005.
For South West farmers the Rural Payments Agency is infamous for its waste and incompetence. The New Government needs to cut costs, streamline the process and get the payments to farmers on time and for the correct amount.
The EU Common Agricultural Policy reforms are due in 2013 and we need to ensure that we have a process and system able to meet the challenges of the agricultural sector into the future.
Ashley Fox MEP