£1.6bn delivered to rural businesses in first two weeks of BPS payment window
More than 92 per cent of farmers received their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in the first two weeks of the payment window.
The latest figures from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) show that 92.4 per cent of payments were made by end of Friday, 13 December, worth £1.6 billion. This builds on the 59,600 farmers who received payments totalling £1.2 billion on 2 December, the first day of the payment window.
Additionally, those who claimed in 2019 on their Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements will receive one full payment this year, as part of a wider improvement plan to deliver a better service to farmers and land managers, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.
This means that ES and CS final payments have started to arrive with customers four months earlier than last year, with £77.8 million ES and £4.3 million CS payments made so far.
“We are committed to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers, so that rural businesses can plan for the year ahead,” said RPA chief executive, Paul Caldwell.
“We remain focused on continuously improving the delivery and performance of BPS, CS and ES schemes, and this year CS and ES customers will receive their one full payment against their annual claim.”
According to the department, payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer so farmers should make sure the RPA has the most up-to-date account details on the Rural Payments service.
Stopping fraudulent activity
Claimants are also urged to remain vigilant against fraud. They should remember:
- 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; and
- 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.