§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of suckler cow premium payments in Northern Ireland for the current year had been paid by 1 January 1997. 
§ Mr. Ancram
[holding answer 3 February 1997]: In Northern Ireland 50.7 per cent. of the 1996 suckler cow applications were cleared for payment by 1 January 1997.
Within the 50.7 per cent. the Department met its citizens charter target of paying, by 31 December, all valid claims received by 30 September Valid applications received between 31 October and 31 December will be paid within four months of receipt