BPS extension could delay payment – farmers warned

An extension to the deadline for national Governments to make Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2015 payments could place increased pressure on British farmers and in some cases be the difference of them surviving or going bust.

It follows an announcement by the European Agriculture Commissioner that due to difficulties being experienced in a number of member states, the deadline by when a member state can make its BPS payments without interest being applied for late payment can be extended to 15 October instead of 30 June.

With many farmers struggling to make ends meet, news that payments could be put back until the middle of October will bring little comfort to those who rely on these payments for things such as cash flow and investment. With the UK also having voted to leave the EU, some farmers may now fear that delays will get even longer.

Ben Compton from the rural team at Bruton Knowles is now advising those farmers who may not yet have received their full payment, to get in touch with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to find out the latest on their particular application.

Ben said: “This announcement will not go down well with farmers especially those still waiting on payments. Our advice is not to panic but to keep on top of the RPA with regard to individual applications. The fact that some member states are ‘having difficulties’ will vindicate why some farmers voted to leave the EU in the referendum. But despite the UK voting to leave the EU my feeling is this will not impact on payments in the UK over the next two years. In fact with the exchange rate as it is, 2016 payments due in December, will likely be up on the 2015 figure.

“We are also advising farmers who have received payments to check their claim statements carefully and to instigate an appeal as soon as possible if they feel there has been an error on the part of the RPA. Anyone who does have any concerns should get in touch with the Bruton Knowles team who are on hand to help any farmers sort through what is needed so that they get what for many are vital payments.”

For further information on the Basic Payment System and to receive regular updates please contact Ben Compton at Bruton Knowles on 01452 880 000 or Ben Compton Ben.Compton@brutonknowles.co.uk

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