§ Mr. Geraint Howells
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the main reason for delay in payment of hill sheep subsidy in 1976; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Morris
The delay in paying hill livestock compensatory allowances on hill sheep is due mainly to teething problems encountered by the new scheme introduced this year. Requests for advice have made very heavy demands on the staff concerned and many incorrectly completed claims have had to be returned to farmers. Extra staff have been deployed to expedite payments, but the difficulties have inevitably caused a slow start to payments. To date more than half of the claims received have been settled, and it is hoped to settle most of the remainder by the end of April.