Farming News - 93.4% of Basic Payment Scheme claims paid in December
93.4% of Basic Payment Scheme claims paid in December
The Rural Payments Agency paid 93.4% of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims during December, the best performance in the first month of the payment window since the scheme started in 2015.
Payments during December were made to 78,787 of eligible claimants and were worth more than £1.57bn in total. They included a range of 2018 BPS claim types and sizes.
RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
“We fully appreciate how critical BPS payments are to farmers and their businesses. We have increased efforts to pay more people as early as possible and RPA teams have now landed more than £1.5 billion into farmers’ bank accounts. I’m very grateful to them for all their work so far.
“We know there is more to do and that some farmers are still waiting for payments. We have written to everyone we were not able to pay in December and will continue to keep people up-to-date.”
All farmers should make sure the RPA has their up-to-date bank account details. Once a payment has been made a remittance advice is sent in the post, confirming the amount paid. A claim statement will also be sent to explain how payments have been worked out.
The RPA is on track to complete payments significantly ahead of the June 2019 deadline. Those claimants who have not been paid by the end of March will receive a bridging payment worth 75% of the value of their claim.
CLA President Tim Breitmeyer welcomed the announcement but warned that delayed BPS payments and continued delay on stewardship payments are causing concerns to many farmers.
He said: “This is welcome progress but those still awaiting payment are experiencing pressure on the business, and in many cases significant stress and worry.
“The rural economy is already facing an uncertain future in the lead up to Brexit and beyond so delayed BPS payments, alongside these other delays to agri-environment scheme payments are compounding and causing a real dent.
“We have previously called on the Treasury to make early and timely bridging payments and are disappointed these are not forthcoming. They should be made a planned feature of the administrative process for the remainder of BPS, and we will continue to press for them in order to put an end to the annual cycle of uncertainty on this issue.”
More information on BPS 2018, including scheme rules and details of how payments are calculated, is available at www.gov.uk/rpa/bps2018.