Local MP Jesse Norman brought the plight of many local farmers directly to the Prime Minister’s attention in the House of Commons today.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Jesse asked David Cameron:
“Will and Carol Davies and other farmers in my constituency are still awaiting their 2015 BPS payments from the Rural Payments Agency, nearly four months after they were due. This follows the failure of the RPA website last year. It is causing great personal and financial distress, and threatens the future of farm businesses.
"Will the Prime Minister agree to meet with farmers to discuss this issue, will he press the RPA to make these payments by the end of this month, and does he share my view that at the very least farmers should receive interest on the amounts overdue?”
In response, the Prime Minister acknowledged the problem, and pointed to a new fund established by DEFRA to assist with cases of hardship.
Commenting, Jesse said “I have a number of constituents who have been seriously hard pressed financially as a result of these delayed payments. I have written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and taken it up with the Farming Minister in person. But it has proven very difficult to speed up the process with the Rural Payments Agency.
“That's why I thought it was important to go straight to the top. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for recognising the issue, and hope that this extra attention means that all outstanding payments will be made as soon as possible.”