Thousands of British Farmers Owe £37 Million
When the Rural Payment Agency paid the Single Farm Payment in 2005 and 2006 in the UK, they overpaid the amount to 20,000 farmers; but it is only now that farmers are receiving letters asking for the money, in some cases thousands of pounds at a time, within a month.
Farmers do not even want to be named in the press as they are fearing they won't get paid this year, but are angry they have been asked for such high sums of money with no real warning.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (Defra) has said that they will be flexible on payments as the economy is so bad at the moment.
The Single Farm Payments scheme was supposed to simplify the process of getting European subsidies to farmers with a minimum of paperwork but the system has been dogged with administrative problems.
The Government was fined £74.5 million by the European Union, that hands out the subsidies, for failing to distribute single farm payments on time three years ago.
This year farmers in England are angry they have not yet received the subsidy, although it has been paid out in Scotland and Wales.
Only twenty percent of farmers in England have even received their Single Farm Payment for this year.
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London and elsewhere, United Kingdom