The NFU has welcomed the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) announcement that 97% of farmers received their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in January.
The NFU has worked with the RPA to improve its service and ensure farmers are receiving all payments, including for Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environment schemes, in a timely manner.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said: “It is really encouraging news that the vast majority of farmers have received their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme payments by now and this should be the bar for performance in the coming years before direct payments are gradually phased out and uncertainty increases.
“It is also extremely positive that confirmation has been given as to the timescale for BPS 2020, this builds on recent announcements around funding and legislative framework for this year’s scheme ahead of an uncertain time for our industry.”
“The NFU will continue supporting our members still awaiting payment and work with the RPA to push the rate of payments made in January to a point where RPA can pay all those waiting.”
NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said: “I am relieved to see a commitment from the RPA to deliver one full revenue payment to those who claimed in 2019 on their Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement, though having such a long payment window poses many issues with financial planning. We would urge the RPA to pay this monies in a timely fashion.
“This approach hopefully marks a shift towards a better service for farmers and land managers and will allow farmers to continue their hard work safeguarding our countryside.”