Responding to Defra’s announcement that farmers will start receiving bridging payments for delayed BPS and Countryside Stewardship payments, NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said:
“Today’s announcement will help provide some much-needed relief for those businesses still waiting for BPS or Countryside Stewardship payments.
“While we are pleased to see some improvements to the payment performance of BPS and Countryside Stewardship, there is still work to be done. We remain very concerned that there are almost 4,000 farmers out there who have still not received ELS or HLS payments from 2017.
“This is simply unacceptable for the thousands of farmers who have delivered their side of the contract only to be left still waiting for their payment from the government, and who may be facing considerable knock-on effects for their businesses and families as a result.
“It is vital that Defra addresses this as soon as possible by paying those holders in full. The danger now is that delayed 2017 payments could have further effects on the delivery of already delayed 2018 payments.”