RPA must live up to promises, says NFU

The NFU has today set out three key performance indicators for the RPA and Defra ahead of the payment window for BPS 2017 opening this Friday.

  • RPA: Paying over 90% of claims by the end of December, as promised;
  • Defra & RPA: Identifying those who will be not paid before the end of December and ensuring bridging payments are given to those claimants;
  • Defra & RPA: Addressing the problems with claims in previous BPS years, putting in more resource to solve these issues quickly.

The NFU has said a lot of uncertainty remains for many farmers ahead of this payment window, particularly in England where there has been no commitment of early delivery of payments.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “Welsh and Scottish farmers have heard in recent days from their RPA equivalents giving certainty of early payments. As this is a crucial time of year for farmers, the RPA cannot leave claimants from England behind.

“We have emphasised the need for slick payment delivery once again to the highest levels of the RPA and Defra. But uncertainty remains.

“The RPA has set out its own targets, knowing its resource and ability well enough by now, so we are expecting 90% of claims will be paid at the very least. As ever we call on Defra to make sure its agency, the RPA, has the resources and functioning IT to deliver BPS effectively.

“And it’s common sense that those who don’t fall in that minimum of 90% should be able to expect a bridging payment – the RPA need to make those people aware of that.

“Addressing the problems of previous years is something I wish I still didn’t have to deal with for this is well overdue. The RPA is dangerously close to compounding problems with payments by not solving the backlog of issues that farmers time and time again are highlighting to us. This does need resources from Defra to solve at this late stage.

“There are the ongoing concerns around the impact of erroneous mapping that has superseded data that was used as the basis of the 2017 claim and considered correct by our members.”

 

 

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.