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Allister lobbies Commission over duplicate fields

19 January 2006

This week Jim Allister has lobbied the European Commission seeking a solution to the problems created when more than one producer has claimed the same field for Single Farm Payment.  Jim Allister has again expressed concern that if a relaxation to the current penalties is not granted by the Commission, some farmers could lose all of their Single Farm Payment entitlement. 

Jim Allister commented, “My office has received a large number of queries this week from farmers who have not received their Single Farm Payment.  Although there are numerous reasons for farmers not receiving money a large number of the cases are a direct result of individual fields being duplicated on more than one Single Farm Payment form.  Before farmers in this situation receive any Single Farm Payment they first need to decide who is claiming the disputed ground and who is removing the land from their claim form. 

“This week I have lobbied DARD and the European Commission seeking a solution to ensure that farmers caught with the duplicate field problems are not severely penalised.  I fear that if the penalties are not reduced some farmers may lose all of their Single Farm Payment.  I believe that the Commission would not wish for farmers to be severely penalised as a direct result of this non-intentional error.  I hope that we can get this problem quickly resolved to enable payments to be made to farmers who to date have not received any Single Farm Payment.”  

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Agriculture and Environment