Farming 'strain' from government cash 'delays', union says

Huw Jones, of the FAW
Image caption Huw Jones, of the FAW, said there had been numerous complaints about the payments

Delays in Welsh Government payments to hundreds of farmers is putting a strain on the industry, a union has warned.

According to the latest figures, 500 businesses were still waiting for their payments from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Huw Jones, of the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW), told Newyddion 9 the delays were "unacceptable".

The Welsh Government said that no late Glastir payments have been made, as there is no payment window for that programme.

The FUW said the majority of those facing delays were in Gwynedd, with 21% of the payment holdbacks through Wales located within the authority.

In Powys 62 people were waiting for funds to be paid, with the majority promised payments by mid-January.

"The delay is unreasonable. The payments are being put through months later than the situation last year," Mr Jones said.

Image caption Tegid Jones said the lack of commucation about the payments was making things worse

Tegid Jones, a Machynlleth farmer, who is waiting for his CAP payments said he was struggling financially.

He said: "Since December, I've been ringing twice a week. And I'm still none the wiser.

"I've got myself into a big hole, I've got bills and bills going out and nothing coming back in.

"The worst-case scenario is that I'll have to pack it all in."

The Welsh Government had promised to process the majority of payments for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), an agricultural fund for "protecting and enhancing the countryside", before the end of January.

A spokesman said: "The BPS window remains open until 30 June and, to date, we have processed over 97% of payments, including over £21.5million to Gwynedd. We expect to pay all but the most complex claims by the middle of April.

"There have been no late Glastir payments."

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