Prompt BPS payment is positive news for farmers, NFU says

NFU Crops Board Chairman Tom Bradshaw leans on a fence to an arable field

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed that payments have been made to thousands of farming businesses, with more than 95% of farmers receiving their 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in the first day of the payment window for recipients of the scheme.

Approximately £1.67 billion was paid to farmers for BPS on the first day of the payment window. In addition eligible farmers were issued Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue payments totalling £40m, and Environmental Stewardship (ES) payments totalling £60m are expected within the first few days of the window.

Those who claimed CS and ES agreements in 2020 will receive one full payment this year as part of a wider plan to deliver a better service to farmers and land managers.

Responding to the update from the RPA on this year’s BPS payments, NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said:

“It is excellent that more than 95% of farmers have received their BPS payment on the first day of the payment window.

“This year has been one of the most challenging for farmers up and down the country and I would like to congratulate the RPA on getting these much-needed payments out the door.

“It’s also very encouraging that the first Countryside Stewardship scheme payments have been made, as well as payments for those in Environmental Stewardship HLS agreements.

“This is another example of the RPA demonstrating improved delivery performance, which will continue to be critical as we head towards the introduction of new schemes during the agricultural transition period.

“Of course, we must not lose sight of the 5% who have yet to receive their payment for BPS and the substantial amount of agri-environment payments RPA still need to deliver. I would urge the RPA to ensure those claimants are kept informed of progress so they can manage their cash flow appropriately and see these payments made in a timely manner.”

Watch out for fraud

Sadly, at this time of year we start to hear of fraudsters targeting farmers for their BPS money. It’s important to remember that the RPA will not call you or send you emails or texts asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. If you get any suspicious looking communication from the RPA, make sure you call them on 03000 200 301 to double check it is genuine. Click here for the RPA's top tips on preventing fraud at Gov.uk.

  • Your bank, police or the RPA will never ask you to reveal your online password, PIN or bank account details or ask you to make a payment over the telephone.
  • Never disclose personal information to someone you don’t know or open unknown or unexpected computer links or emails.
  • If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone, using a number you are familiar with or you know to be official. You can find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040.

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