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Over £218.5m paid out in Single Farm Payments to date

29 January, 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has announced that almost 1,500 additional farmers received their Single Farm Payments by the end of this January than in the same period last year.

The target was to complete 87% of payments by the end of January. Instead, payments were achieved on 90% of eligible claims.

The Minister said: "Over the last two months £218.5 million has been paid out in Single Farm Payments by my department. This is a welcome boost to the local industry during difficult times. More farmers are being paid more quickly than ever before. The number of farmers receiving their payments by the end of January has increased by 1,482 since last year and by over 2,800 over the last two years. "

Commenting on the claims not yet finalised, the Minister said: "All cases must be assessed in accordance with the EU rules. Many of the remaining cases involve mapping changes identified at on-farm inspection. Where these changes are effective from earlier years, entitlements established in 2005 and payments made in 2005, 2006 and 2007 may have to be adjusted before the 2008 payment can be calculated. Even though many adjustments may be small, they are a major source of work in clearing claims. My department is taking all possible steps to ensure the remaining payments are made as soon as possible."

The Minister also noted that a number of farm businesses have still not provided their bank account details. She said: "Payments must be made electronically into farmers' bank accounts. Over 500 farm businesses could be paid but they have not provided their account details. Any farm business that has not yet provided their bank account, building society or credit union account details to my department should do so immediately to enable any payment which may be due to them to be processed."

The Minister added "To help those farmers who do not have a bank account receive their grant/subsidy entitlements, I secured the facility that they can have their payment paid into the credit union of their choice, provided their chosen credit union operates a suitable bank account."

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