This week Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, gave evidence to the Rural Economy Committee on 25 January on the CAP Futures Project (IT system and 2015, 2016 CAP payments).
Mr Ewing reiterated delivery of payments and a fit for purpose IT system remained a key priority for him. In delivering on that commitment staff and resources have been reviewed and Mr Ewing was joined at the meeting by the revised key team in this regard of Elinor Mitchell (Director of Ag Division), Eddie Turnbull (Head of Info Services responsible for IT to Ag Directorate) and Annabel Turpie (Chief Operating Officer – Rural Payments)
As at 23 January a total of £455 million paid to 39,998 claimants.
Pillar 1 - Basic Payment, Greening and Young Farmers schemes - 99.7% of eligible claimants paid
Pillar 1 - Beef and Sheep – 99% of eligible claimants paid
Dedicated payments control room been vital to achieving this progress.
13,172 businesses been paid loans until full 2016 payments made. Loan scheme closed 20 January, although small process to pay top-up loans for those with entitlements just confirmed as transferred is continuing.
Intention is to pay 2016 payments to be paid by end of June, which is within normal EU requirements.
Mr Ewing didn’t include mention of Pillar 2 in his opening remarks. In discussion –
LFASS – c. 11380 eligible to claim, 7532 been paid (79%), 2408 still to be paid. £18.8 million still to be paid, however loans paid covering most of this amount have been made.
LMO – 77% paid with 471 outstanding eligible claimants still to be paid.
These delays to be fully resolved after next release of functionality in IT system due early February.
IT System progress
IT System to be delivered in full early 2017. New practices put in place to ensure pre-launch testing is much more robust and Cab. Sec. announced confidence in the system going forward.
Not all letters have been sent out (c.30% outstanding). They are needed for accounting and tax processes and to understand SGRPID decisions on reductions and exclusions.
The full session, which explored some of the continuing outstanding issues in greater detail, can be viewed here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y6wqgLFFlI