THE Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has hit a new record for paying out Single Payment Scheme cheques after handing out £1.44bn to 97,120 farmers in the first month of the payment window.
Statistically, by the end of December 93.4% of RPA customers had received their payments and 88.3% of the total estimated fund value had been paid, beating the Agency’s target of paying 91% of customers by volume and 84% by value.
RPA chief executive Mark Grimshaw said: “I was able to announce at the start of December that we had met our end-of-month targets on the first banking day of the payment window and I am pleased that those excellent achievements have continued.
“RPA is delivering a much improved level of service to English farmers in administering SPS and the latest figures continue to show just how far we have come over the last two years.
“Our focus now is to ensure that remaining payments are made promptly and accurately.”
The RPA has a ministerial commitment, set out in its current business plan, to pay 97% of payments by value and 97% of customers by the end March this year.