The Rural Payments Agency still has plenty to do to resolve the IT difficulties it experienced in implementing the EU Single Payment Scheme. A report by the National Audit Office finds that the agency has yet to deal with all those farmers who were paid too little in 2005 – the first year of the scheme – nor recovered the sums …
I thought the cash was going to be in orbit disagreeing with our chosen route to the shops/work/Gran's house?
Oh pulease !
This isn't an example of an 'IT' error, it's an example of a SYSTEM error - ie the whole system (including the people, processes, and yes the IT) has a problem. This is just the sort of thing my last management used to do - label things as 'IT issues' so that we got to have to deal with them while senior management could bury their heads in the sand and pretend it was nothing to do with them.
But back to the story, what isn't brought out well in the article is that the underpayments are REALLY hurting farmers - constantly being p***ed about by officials who wouldn't know a tup from a turnip, and with this fiasco, not getting paid money there were both promised and rely on. I'm sure many readers are already thinking something along the lines of "oh dear, poor farmers, they should do something different" ! Well just try putting yourself in their position :
Firstly, you get a load of townies telling them how to manage their land and what you expect the country to look like.
Then you impose all sorts of rules and regulations, which whilst are good idea, they do increase costs.
Then you allow imports from other countries which ignore said rules and regulations. One might ask why we import, for example, beef from at least one country where foot&mouth disease is endemic ?
And to top it all off, most of you go to the supermarket and buy based on the three Ps - price, Price, and PRICE.
There's an old joke in farming, which is largely based on truth - it's the only industry where you buy retail, sell wholesale, and pay carriage both ways !
Can't we just stop paying farmers
Why should we keep giving them subsidies then we'd have a double bonus, save the money we pay to farmers and close down the RPA and save the money it costs to run them too...
MAFF, as it was at the time, picked the most complicated system for assessing payments. They kept changing the rules until the last minute. It's no surprise that they messed up payment.
In Wales and Scotland they set up simpler systems, and get the money paid to the farmers. The last report I saw claimed 90% by Christmas, which is what MAFF used to do under the old IACS system.
The German system is similar to the English system, They manage to pay promptly.
And if the price paid to farmers had kept pace with inflation, there'd be no need for subsidy. But a loaf of bread would cost about three times as much.
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