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Thousands drop out of single farm payment chaos

by 5m Editor
13 June 2006, at 12:00am

Thousands of landowners have abandoned the Single Payment Scheme for 2006, following a year of chaos at the Rural Payments Agency and payment delays. The RPA has confirmed that it had received 105,000 SP5 forms by 2 June, 2006, compared with a total of 120,000 in 2005. An agency spokesman pointed out that everyone had to submit an SP5 in 2005 because it was &quot;ground zero&quot; in terms of establishing entitlements. But in 2006 applicants only had to complete a form if claiming a payment. &quot;The people who have dropped out are likely to be those with very low claims,&quot; he said. &quot;Many people - particularly pony paddock claimants - may not wish to activate entitlements this year.&quot; But there are signs that some commercial farmers are also turning away from the scheme. Farmers Weekly has spoken to a West Sussex dairy farmer who has sold his entitlements - worth £14,000 a year - because he wants to farm without interference. <i>Source: FWi</i>

5m Editor