I have received numerous approaches over recent weeks with regard to delays in Single Farm Payments and the confusion regarding the whole issue of SAF 2015 and its impact on SAF 2016. Whilst the approach of the Welsh Government is to issue press releases praising the Government’s performance and pointing out that 90% of farmers have received part payment it certainly does not feel like this on the ground. Figures suggest that within my own region of north Wales as of February only 1303 out of1564 farmers in Gwynedd and 258 out of 351 farmers in Wrexham had received their Single Farm Payment.
The issue is further complicated by the number of outstanding 2015 SAF and others which are the subject of appeals. Whilst relaxations by the Minister are to be welcomed many farmers are rightly worried that they are expected to fill in their 2016 SAF whilst being uncertain as to the area to be included because of these delays.
I took the opportunity to raise the issue with the Deputy Minister during questions in Plenary