NFU calls for urgency on BPS payments as 20,000 claims not paid

The NFU has expressed disappointment at the latest payment figures from the RPA which show 23% of claims are yet to be paid. At the same time, the NFU has said it is essential that the RPA pays the outstanding claims before BPS 2016 rolls out.

The RPA committed to paying the ‘vast majority’ of claims by the end of January but there has never been a definitive figure attached to this commitment. The NFU says this ambiguity is hindering farmers’ financial situation and management of cash flow at this time.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “It’s totally unacceptable that thousands of cash-strapped farmers are left waiting for millions of pounds in BPS claims. Farmers must be paid as soon as possible. The danger is now that delays may compromise the ability to smoothly implement the application window for 2016.

“It’s especially alarming when many farmers only received notice that they were ‘unlikely to be paid by the end of January’ in the last few days, assuming quite rightly they were going to be paid but haven’t been. Farmers must know specifically when they are going to be paid so know whether to call the bank manager or further extend bridging loans. I can’t believe that farmers are still in the dark on this – some point between now and the end of the payment window is nowhere near good enough.

“We have been inundated with farmers’ as to the shambolic communication coming out of the RPA. They have every right to feel deceived and angry; they can be assured the NFU is pulling out all the stops to make the RPA aware of these concerns.”

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