back to article UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels' – report

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is "failing on multiple levels" with widespread concerns over errors from recent digital mapping updates and inaccurate payments. A report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee found that the RPA "is failing in its core duties", which "raises concerns about its …

  1. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    Battle Bus Update

    Apparently the cost of Brexit will be more than covered by the end of fines for not meeting CAP timescales and conditions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Battle Bus Update

      It is ironic that some farmers voted Brexit because they thought DEFRA was an EU institution. They were surprised afterwards to be told that DEFRA was a Westminster department - and that the EU had been fining it for failing to deliver farmers' subsidies on time.

      Many Brexit areas are still apparently ignoring the fact that the government has no intention of continuing any subsidies to the same level as those received under EU rules.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Battle Bus Update

        "no intention of continuing any subsidies to the same level as those received under EU rules."

        Damn those multi-millionaire golf course owners will be upset.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Battle Bus Update

        Many Brexit areas are still apparently ignoring the fact that the government has no intention of continuing any subsidies to the same level as those received under EU rules.

        But... but... they PROMISED they would continue to pay the same level of subsidies! Are you telling me that politicians break their promises? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked.

        My bet is that they'll fine themselves for screwing it up, thus diverting DEFRA money back to the Treasury.

        1. Len Silver badge

          Re: Battle Bus Update

          As far as I'm aware that promise was time-limited to 2020. The EU's Multiannual Financial Framework ends in 2020 and many farmers will have planned to receive the same amount of EU subsidies until then.

          To appease the farming community during the Brexit fallout the government made a promise to meet EU subsidies until that date. That was before there was talk of a potential transition phase which may now run to the end of the MFF and may see a continuation of EU subsidies until 2020.

          The height and type of farming subsidies post 2020 are being discussed with Gove suggesting (discussed elsewhere here) to change what types of subsidies will still be available. I think that will all be moot anyway as I think it's fairly unlikely the current (nominal) government manages to muddle on for another twelve months.

  2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    What's the problem?

    What's the problem? The government have already made it clear that they won't be replacing the current EU subsidies post brexit therefore there is nothing that needs to be done. Except for selling off all of the fertile land for houses to be built on it, of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the problem?

      Wrong. Gove has said he will replace what subsidies is paid for, not that they will end. He wants to move from food producing subsidies to countryside stewardship subsidies.

      Gove may come across as a tory bell-end and I haven't cared for him at all in previous roles, but he has found his calling here - and genuinely cares for managing the countryside - although his predessesor was Ledsom who was an utter joke.

      Having said that (people in) DEFRA are particularly arrogant, RPA are completely innefectual and only natural england have a modicum of capability, but all 3 suffer from clowns with a civil service "job for life" mentality.

      IMO having some insight so AC.

      1. Len Silver badge

        Re: What's the problem?

        That further shift to country-side stewardship means that the only people to still receive subsidies are the rich landowners that can afford not to use their land for production, not the people who actually produce food so we are not entirely dependent on imported food. Expect James Dyson, the Queen, Khalid Abdullah al Saud and Paul Dacre to keep their subsidies. You don't think the government would be allowed to end the subsidies to their bosses, do you?

        UK farmers receive about €3 billion a year in EU subsidies, there is no way the country can afford such an amount in the next decade so the total will have to come down. Most farmers are not going to be happy.

        The good news is that it may finally mean an end to The Archers...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What's the problem?

          UK farmers receive about €3 billion a year in EU subsidies, there is no way the country can afford such an amount in the next decade so the total will have to come down we'll have to add more food imports to the (im)balance of trade.

          FTFY

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: What's the problem?

            @ Doctor Syntax

            "we'll have to add more food imports to the (im)balance of trade."

            Which should still mean a drop in the price of food for everyone in the country. Those cries of no pay rise will be a little more muffled as the cost of living falls. That will be a nice little stimulus for all households rich or poor just for leaving the EU.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What's the problem?

              >Which should still mean a drop in the price of food for everyone in the country. Those cries of no pay rise will be a little more muffled as the cost of living falls. That will be a nice little stimulus for all households rich or poor just for leaving the EU.

              Given that one of the major components of food pricing is transport costs, which will have to increase to import food, then you might be a little upset every time you do the weekly shopping. And you are assuming that the shops will drop prices rather than increase their profits on the food they sell...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What's the problem?

              Do we honestly believe the EU is going to continue to subsidise it's farmer to give the UK a lower price?

              Prices will eventually rise because the simple and unpalatable truth is that the EU subsidises it's farming making farming elsewhere not worth it or more expensive so it's not like we can buy it from other countries at the same or a lower price.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: What's the problem?

                @AC 1

                "Given that one of the major components of food pricing is transport costs, which will have to increase to import food, then you might be a little upset every time you do the weekly shopping"

                And yet food will still be cheaper. That is why we must subsidise food production here because it is not economically worth doing here, it costs us more. Same applies with the EU food requiring such subsidy so the proof is against you. That is why it was cheaper to get China to produce tshirts and little plastic toys instead of making them here. Even with transport it was cheaper.

                "And you are assuming that the shops will drop prices rather than increase their profits on the food they sell..."

                The big chains did try that. Then they took a big hit thanks to low price chains such as aldi and lidl.

                @AC2

                "Do we honestly believe the EU is going to continue to subsidise it's farmer to give the UK a lower price?"

                Actually they will continue to subsidise their farmers but the point I made was that food is cheaper if we trade with the rest of the world. Even those subsidies require a high trade tariff protectionist wall because food outside the EU is still cheaper.

                "making farming elsewhere not worth it or more expensive so it's not like we can buy it from other countries at the same or a lower price."

                And as my comment to your first bit makes this part of your comment simply wrong.

            3. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: What's the problem?

              @cj You're assuming that there are no tarrifs on that food. We won't get access to markets like Russia unless we drop sanctions for all the naughty things they've done and we won't get access to India unless we drop the border for their citizens resulting in a big increase in immigration. No tarrifs on incoming food will be taken as a sign that we are not taking back control. Bleached chicked anyone?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: What's the problem?

                @ James 51

                "You're assuming that there are no tarrifs on that food."

                I am assuming lower tariffs than the EU imposes but the EU is protectionist. It would be a screw-up of Blair proportions not to understand that (not saying the gov couldnt be that dumb but at re-election they can be replaced).

                "We won't get access to markets like Russia unless we drop sanctions for all the naughty things they've done and we won't get access to India"

                And what does that have to do with anything? That still doesnt change that protectionist tariffs against the world increase the cost of our imported food and the price will fall when we leave unless we continue with EU protectionist tariffs.

                "No tarrifs on incoming food will be taken as a sign that we are not taking back control"

                Why? That makes not only no sense but is so backward that it cannot be thought by a rational person. If we choose to have no tariffs then we choose. That by its very definition means we have taken back control as we have no such choice now. Now it is dictated to us.

                "Bleached chicked anyone?"

                You may not mean it this way but I am going to argue against what you are actually saying by that. Why are you an authoritarian? Why do you feel the need to dictate to people what they can and cannot eat? Your example is bleached chicken which has passed food safety standards in the developed world including the European food standards. If it is up to the standards of the food regulators who have looked at this then why do you feel the need to dictate what people can and cannot eat? Why not let people choose what to eat. Chlorinated chicken is cheaper, and while that may not appeal to you it is possible it could appeal to others. Why not let them choose what they want to eat instead of dictating?

                1. James 51 Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: What's the problem?

                  There are no tariffs on the food from the EU. You cannot go lower than zero and food from everywhere else is going to have higher transport costs and tariffs on them. UK farmers cannot produce enough food to feed the country so some will have to be imported no matter what it costs. If farmers here cannot produce food for cheaper than it is imported then that industry will collapse unless it goes up market and sells there products as luxury food worth the extra costs. Russia blocked a lot of food imports from the EU after the EU imposed sanctions on Russia after things like invading Crimea. The UK was a big driving force in that so I expect that we would be slapped with those sanctions too after we leave. Ironically the more authoritarian regimes in the EU were against the sanctions and might be able to get them lifted after the UK leaves, leaving the EU in the position that they can now sell their CAP subsidised produce to Russia but we cannot. Meaning that we have tariffs into the EU making our food more expensive there, cannot sell it to Russia and have to start shipping it further afield driving up costs. The alternative is to put tariffs on all imported food so people buy British first protecting British farmers but harms relationships with those countries, reducing the incentive for them to lower tariffs to our products and of course driving up the price of food for everyone.

                  While being able to decide to drop tariffs on products and drop immigration quotas allowing unlimited access to the rest of the world would be an example of exercising control, that is not how the tabloids would represent it.

                  BTW bleached chicken does not meet safety standards and is illegal in the EU and there are a number of papers by economists that highlight the fallacy of allowing a small number of people to sell their safety. Soon it drives down standards and therefore endangers everyone.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: What's the problem?

                    @ James 51

                    "There are no tariffs on the food from the EU"

                    Yes. Which I assume is your acknowledgement of my comments that there is protectionist tariffs against the rest of the world imposed by the EU. Drop them and by market prices the outside world is cheaper than the EU.

                    "You cannot go lower than zero and food from everywhere else is going to have higher transport costs and tariffs on them"

                    The good news is you have identified where you are wrong. The transport costs are not prohibitive, they are less than the tariffs. That is why food is expected to be cheaper even after the fall in the GBP when we leave.

                    "If farmers here cannot produce food for cheaper than it is imported then that industry will collapse unless it goes up market and sells there products as luxury food worth the extra costs."

                    Well said. So the farming industry will either have to farm what is worth farming or go out of business. Either way the UK gets cheaper food, our farming industry likely becomes economically viable (like New Zealand did) and the country benefits.

                    "Meaning that we have tariffs into the EU making our food more expensive there"

                    Bingo! Ring a bell and turn on the light, the EU tariff wall makes things more expensive. Apply that to the rest of your comment and we are better off out.

                    "The alternative is to put tariffs on all imported food so people buy British first protecting British farmers"

                    And this is where the nationalists, protectionists and afraid of the world pop up regardless of their support of remain or leave. Which is why I do say that the outward looking on both sides should be against such protectionism as it will harm the country.

                    "While being able to decide to drop tariffs on products and drop immigration quotas allowing unlimited access to the rest of the world would be an example of exercising control, that is not how the tabloids would represent it."

                    The same tabloids that refused to fact check the remain/leave campaigns during the referendum? Because 'WE ARE DOOMED' sells more? But as you accept it would be sovereignty returned.

                    "BTW bleached chicken does not meet safety standards and is illegal in the EU"

                    Still wrong. Yes it is illegal in the EU by their choice but it passed European safety standards-

                    https://fullfact.org/europe/does-eu-say-its-safe-eat-chicken-rinsed-chlorine/

                    "papers by economists that highlight the fallacy of allowing a small number of people to sell their safety."

                    Since I have just disproved your safety stance lets just tackle the authoritarian view here. Who are you to tell me what to eat? And you should ask that question to when someone tries to dictate to you. We are adults (I assume by the standard of your comments) and we should be free to choose how to live our lives. We dont need nannying. If you choose to follow some choice of diet that is up to you but not to be dictated upon others. This authoritarian push under the superiority complex (authoritarianism) doesnt mean there is a problem with the standards, only with the snob who has a problem with them.

                    @ Ben1892

                    So this isnt a discussion on what affects rural payments? Maybe you should use your scroll wheel. Its on your mouse.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: What's the problem?

                      >The good news is you have identified where you are wrong. The transport costs are not prohibitive, they are less than the tariffs. That is why food is expected to be cheaper even after the fall in the GBP when we leave.

                      Some foods might be cheaper.

                      However, if you compare shop prices with the USA (for example), then some goods are cheaper, but the majority aren't. Bread is nearly double in the USA, rice, fresh vegetables and fruits are similar, but eggs are slightly cheaper.

                      If you compare to Japan (island nation with larger economy), then their food prices are even more expensive than the USA - especially fresh fruit and vegetables, but again some foods are cheaper.

                      Or are you looking towards "poorer" countries, like China or India, where eating out is much less expensive, and individual foods items that are locally produced are cheaper, but imported foods are still more expensive than currently in the UK?

                    2. James 51 Silver badge

                      Re: What's the problem?

                      You are wrong about the safety stance:

                      http://www.beuc.eu/blog/what-is-wrong-with-chlorinated-chicken/

                      The problem with driving down standards to make things cheap is that the more expensive stuff is difficult to maintain and eventually every chicken farmer would have to drive down their standards to compete and we would all be sicker as a result. Same argument with vaccines. You might argue that it is authoritarian to have mandatory vaccine programmes but I will argue right back they save lives and by you lowering standards, you are increasing the risk that I will die of a disease you helped to create and spread.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: What's the problem?

                        @ James 51

                        "You are wrong about the safety stance:"

                        Who are they?- "Consumer Corner is the blog of BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation. This is where we outline our thoughts on EU developments likely to affect consumers.". So you are putting more faith in some ones blog than the European Food Safety Authority. So you are wrong. Unless you are going to oppose the European Food Safety Authority on top of the US regulation which is a large chunk of the developed worlds food regulation.

                        "The problem with driving down standards to make things cheap is that the more expensive stuff is difficult to maintain and eventually every chicken farmer would have to drive down their standards to compete and we would all be sicker as a result."

                        To gain enough exposure you need to eat 3 whole chickens a day, you are more at risk from water than chicken for chlorine. And yes it would result in people getting what they are willing to pay for, which is people choosing what they want to buy, chlorinated or not. You are pushing the authoritarian argument of telling people what to eat for their own good, and being wrong about what is dangerous!

                        The rest of your comment is based on a danger that doesnt exist and so is irrelevant. Your first step is to prove wrong the food standards agencies of the US and Europe.

                    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                      WTF?

                      That is why food is expected to be cheaper even after the fall in the GBP when we leave.

                      Because it hasn't fallen hard enough or far enough already?

                      In the year prior to the referendum it had hit 1.24E/£. At referendum it hit 1.23E/£.

                      It's now around 1.14E/£.

                      Well done. You've cut the exchange rate by 8.7%.

                      I'd say EU prices are going up, and going to continue to go up on that basis.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: What's the problem?

                    Dig for victory!

                    Pity that so many doing the harvesting come from Europe.

                    Wait - we need the Women's Land Army

                2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Unhappy

                  I am assuming lower tariffs than the EU imposes but the EU is protectionist.

                  Yes you are.

                  You are in fact hoping desperately that it will be true.

                  Now how does that square with this "Regulatory alignment" that that nice Mrs Foster has been talking about in those dulcet Ulster tones of hers?

                  Because when you've the party who gives the government of the day their absolute majority your opinions command quite a bit of weight.

                  Yours however, don't.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: I am assuming lower tariffs than the EU imposes but the EU is protectionist.

                    @ John Smith 19

                    "You are in fact hoping desperately that it will be true."

                    Why desperately? It would require total stupidity to leave and yet follow the EU's lead on bad economic decisions. Granted we could remain which would have the same problem with the tariffs but we are discussing brexit.

                    "Now how does that square with this "Regulatory alignment" that that nice Mrs Foster has been talking about in those dulcet Ulster tones of hers?"

                    No idea. If its regulations not tariffs then it makes sense although why we would keep EU regs god knows. Or maybe she is talking rubbish I have no idea.

                    "In the year prior to the referendum it had hit 1.24E/£. At referendum it hit 1.23E/£."

                    Your welcome. I dont take credit for the currency falling only the timing but if you want to credit leave with repairing the economy I wont complain. The BoE and treasury had been trying to bring down the value of the GBP since 2008 with QE and dropping the base rate. The US is unwinding QE, before it looked like some sort of back door (shafting) remain we were looking at increasing the base rate. The EU however is still increasing their QE trying to devalue the euro. So your welcome.

                    "I'd say EU prices are going up, and going to continue to go up on that basis."

                    Until, the base rate goes up (our currency strengthens), the EU manage to reduce theirs appropriately, increased certainty from the negotiations or the animal spirits of the markets adjust their view of the currencies. But since there is a world beyond the EU and dropping tariffs makes those imports cheaper, as I have pointed out each comment so far, that your concern means little.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the problem?

        IT in DEFRA its not in a good shape at the moment.

        Recently all the IT departments have been merged into one this included merging the environment agency (AE) as well. So this means different pay grades all over the place and its going to take until next year, at the earliest, to work out.

        So Human Resource, in their wisdom, have refused to take anyone on from outside i.e. you can only get an new employee internally on a 2 year secondment. This means contractor, contractor, contractor, you get the picture, at £££400\500 a day.

        Contractors are ruling the roust in DEFRA IT where permanent IT staff are expected to sit tight and turn the wheel while BREXIT rumbles on. Its not a happy place for IT staff to work.

        I know this happens all over the place but some contractors have been in the RPA for that long its nearly impossible to get rid of them since they have the knowledge and skills on specifics systems. Fair play to the contractor, get you feet under the table and sit there until your told to go, if I were a contractor I would do the same.

        Its the management that are allowing this to happen, "Oh give the contractor another 6 months its easier than skilling up the existing IT workers and giving them ammunition for a pay rise", "Err, why is this team decimated", "We really value you as a worker please stay but we are not going to give you anything extra". That scenario is actually happening in DEFRA IT, skilled workers are jumping ship at an astonishing rate.

        Expect 5 years of turmoil in DEFRA IT i.e. in 1 years time once BREXIT kicks in there will be 2 years of maintaining the CAP then there will be another 2 years of getting the new system to work for the farmers. It isn't going to be easy I can guarantee you that.

        Dont expect any change from £500 million and thats being very conservative with the estimate as well.

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: What's the problem?

          IT at DEFRA is indeed a mess. It was a mess when I left DEFRA in 2006. Nothing has changed in 12 years... and IBM/Sungard/et al continue to rape the department for what it's worth...

          1. Ben1892
            IT Angle

            Re: What's the problem?

            Look can we stop talking about IT in a Brexit debate please - what do you think this site is for? if you want to talk computers, jog on!

            1. James 51 Silver badge

              Re: What's the problem?

              IT is suppose to create a frictionless border and solve lots of problems that were blamed on the EU but never really about the EU. What ever happens, IT will be involved to an even greater extending on imports and exports afterwards.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the problem?

          Don't forget being civil servants the nice 1% pay awards final salary pension ending, increased pension contributions, etc, etc, etc

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the problem?

          @ac

          IT in DEFRA its not in a good shape at the moment.

          Recently all the IT departments have been merged into one this included merging the environment agency (AE) as well. So this means different pay grades all over the place and its going to take until next year, at the earliest, to work out.

          So Human Resource, in their wisdom, have refused to take anyone on from outside i.e. you can only get an new employee internally on a 2 year secondment. This means contractor, contractor, contractor, you get the picture, at £££400\500 a day.

          Contractors are ruling the roust in DEFRA IT where permanent IT staff are expected to sit tight and turn the wheel while BREXIT rumbles on. Its not a happy place for IT staff to work.

          in addition to the mergers of the internal IT, there is the changing of the old guard IT contracts with IBM & Crap G for a number of other players under their UnITy program https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/07/defra_prolongs_si_addiction/

          i really don't envy them unwrapping and wrapping back up that lot after all their time together.

          anon because some of their contractors I have to deal with are truly shockingly bad and would struggle to get out of a paper bag.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the problem?

          Contractors on £400-£500 a day correct me if I am wrong but all of the RPA's IT is handled by "Contractors". Their in house IT staff were rehired by their preferred contractor of a Blueish tinge some years ago and they are not on anywhere near that ammount

      3. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: What's the problem?

        The problem though is that post-Brexit we *will* have to grow more of our own food, unless you want the kind of food riots here that India faced over onions or China has over rice (both countries having to import said items at higher prices than what the domestic market wanted to bear).

        But hey... you know... Brexit will be fine! Honest! It'll be fiiiiiiiine! We'll continue to get our cheap veg from Spain and France, and Germany for no duties and tariffs because we'll bend the EU to our will. And so on.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      won't be replacing the current EU subsidies post brexit

      therefore there is nothing that needs to be done.

      Indeed the Agri & Horticulture Development Board seem to be the only outfit that's actually done an impact assessment and only the pig farmers survive under all tested scenarios.

      Oink, oink.

  3. Dave Bell

    The RPA and DEFRA are the latest version of a continuing pattern of failure to adequately handle the EU's direct payments to farmers. Most of Europe has some sort of central record of land ownership and occupation, often for tax purposes, and when the EU started payments for land rather than produce, they already had the basic records needed.

    We had to start from scratch.

    30 years ago...

    It was a big change, you could have expected this sort of mess back then, but things should have improved.

    Brexit will be a bigger change. How long will it take for us to sort out the changes from that?

  4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Adjusting maps

    Given that you can select an area to view properties for sale in RightMove and other such sites, an interactive map where you can see what the Govt believes your land to be and adjust the lines to what you know your land is and hit 'submit' seems technically possible.

    1. Len Silver badge

      Re: Adjusting maps

      I expect the challenge to be organisational rather than technical. The underlying land data should be available using Ordnance Survey and Land Registry data, accurate to a few centimetres.

      The challenge will be to find a balance between being able to easily claim one’s land and preventing fraud/land theft. If you don’t have a good record of who owns which hectare, how do you contact all possible people where a dispute may arise? It may require a quite labour intensive process in a department that most likely has only see staff cuts in the last decade.

    2. tip pc Bronze badge

      Re: Adjusting maps

      sure and nothing to stop farmer from claiming additional land as his own!!

    3. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: Adjusting maps

      DEFRA land surveyors are generally reckoned to be the Diane Abbott's of the land measurement trade; they can measure the sizes of fields which have not changed their boundaries since the Enclosure Act which formed them, and come up with slightly differing sizes year on year. That they are crap at other aspects of IT is therefore no surprise whatsoever to farmers.

      1. Dave Bell

        Re: Adjusting maps

        Back when the system started, somebody in DEFRA specified a higher precision of area measurement than practical surveying allowed, and the Ordnance Survey figures assumed a flat landscape. Not even Norfolk is that flat. Just the ordinary variations in cultivation, year on year, could lead to bigger variations in the cultivated area.

        This isn't rocket science. (DEFRA are the sort of people who want to use satellites in a retrograde geostationary orbit.)

  5. disco_stu

    If only there was some kind of government organisation responsible for providing mapping of the UK!

  6. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Merge DEFRA with the DSS.

    Get farmers queuing with the other doleys.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Get farmers queuing with the other doleys."

      BBC R4 "Farming Today" reported that hill farmers are already struggling even with the CAP subsidies. They expect many to go out of business after Brexit. There is then a concern about how the tourist-earning landscape will change as it reverts back to wild vegetation instead of being sheep-shorn.

  7. Panicnow

    EU causes RPA's problems

    The rapid and perverse rule changes by the EU bureaucrats has been a major problem. Getting out of the EU so we have control over the rules ( and frequency of changes) is fine.

    Yes, DEFRA to all intents and purposes has been a delegated EU institution.

    I own a farm, I'd welcome removing all govt money from the system. Thus we can go back to managing the farm in an appropriate manner according to local conditions, and not do "Bad stuff" because of current bureaucratic fashion. E.g Rip up hedges, plough up wrong fields, plant wrong seed ....

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: EU causes RPA's problems

      "I own a farm"

      What kind of farm?

      If you're a sheep farmer, you can now export lamb to France frictionlessly (they take a large proportion of UK-produced lamb), and if you're in NI you can easily send those lamb to slaughter in IE (NI has insuffient abbattoir capacity). If the UK drops out of the single market then French customers might as well source their lamb from NZ/AUS and you will find it difficult to compete with their lower prices. Trade deals between the UK and NZ/AUS might also lead to increasing imports from those countries.

      Similar story for grain. And other products. See the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board web site https://ahdb.org.uk/brexit/default.aspx

      Even if you personally don't export, the impact on the UK farm products market is going to affect you.

      "I'd welcome removing all govt money from the system."

      So would I, IF that leaves enough farmers in business to give the UK (and NL, ...) some degree of self-sufficiency in terms of food. Much as I'm in favour of international trade, I don't want to take the risk of the country I'm living in being excessively dependent on food imports - and I'm prepared to pay the insurance premium for that in terms of higher food prices. Similarly, wherever I live I want the environment to be protected against excessive impact from farming (just as it is protected against the chemical process industries).

  8. moonrakin

    One can see why farmers prefer to take a bung from solar companies who are actually "banks in disguise" harvesting the subsidies....

    The RPA have been making CAP payments illegally for some time due to their hopeless admin - last time I looked about 2 years ago there was £28 billion in payments that the EU could legally demand be repaid to Brussels....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to work in a small organization that gave grants to landowners. Land owners loved us as we paid what we promised when we promised. Central government hated us as our small team of staff (Probably less than 10) beat the pants off the Goliath that was central government.

    I believe central government solved the dichotomy by taking over the scheme we were running and lower its standards to match theirs.

  10. FlatSpot

    Guardian 2.0

    The Register seems to be like the Guardian these days, 3000 out of how many? Delays back in 2015 well before Brexit... tedious comments moaning about brexit... I thought the Register would be more a place of opportunity and entrepreneurship...

    1. James 51 Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Guardian 2.0

      It is which is why we can see the nonsense of billionaires saying their for brexit for the little man and not for themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guardian 2.0

        We also used to have a love of spelling and punctuation

        1. James 51 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Guardian 2.0

          I spotted the their/they're mistake afterwards, too late for an edit but it does bother me.

    2. Len Silver badge

      Re: Guardian 2.0

      I don’t see any suggestion that these problems are Brexit related. As you say, they long preceded even the invention of the word Brexit.

      What I do see is suggestions that it doesn’t bode well for when Brexit happens that they can’t even get a system to work in quiet and predictable times, let alone during a condensed period of major upheaval.

    3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Guardian 2.0

      "Delays back in 2015 well before Brexit... tedious comments moaning about brexit... I thought the Register would be more a place of opportunity and entrepreneurship..."

      If we're keen on entrepreneurship, then remaining in the worlds largest trading bloc would be the best plan.

      The point is more that UK institutions manage to fuck up managing the UK's funds allocated from the EU. That the current systems are not coping, and that no-one knows what the policy will be in two years time does not bode well for the future.

  11. Ted Treen

    "UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels'"

    No change there, then:- business as usual.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      ""UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels'""

      Which is notable.

      But not in a good way.

  12. sebt27
    Facepalm

    General law

    "The RPA's history of failing to deliver workable payment systems does not fill us with confidence that it has either the capacity or expertise to deliver a seamless Brexit transition"

    Isn't this just a particular case of the general law

    "The entire government's history of failing to deliver anything workable does not fill us with confidence that it has either the capacity or expertise to deliver a seamless Brexit transition"

    ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RPA is not a UK wide agency

    Scotland manages to have it's own team of clowns f it up in their own unique fashion :(

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: RPA is not a UK wide agency

      "Scotland manages to have it's own team of clowns"

      So has Wales, I think. I gather life is particularly uncomfortable for farmers whose farms include fields across the English/Welsh border :( (source: a farming magazine I read a few months ago, can't remember which one). More details on https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418703/Land_in_more_than_one_part_of_the_UK.pdf

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is "failing on multiple levels"

    The UK Government is "failing on multiple levels".

    TFTFY.

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