Half of farmers yet to receive BPS payment – NFU reaction

The NFU is urging the RPA to give farmers certainty and confidence in lieu of a paid claim as the RPA announces that just 50 per cent of farmers received a BPS payment last month.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The RPA has kept its promise by less than one per cent – this ‘bare minimum’ approach does not bode well for its ‘vast majority’ promise by the end of January.

“The NFU will keep up the pressure on Defra and the RPA to be transparent in its progress announcements and is stressing the importance of having sufficient resource to get the payments out to farmers in the coming weeks.

“Farmers must have certainty of when they are going to be paid and this will give them the confidence they need to be able to run their businesses as normally as possible until they receive that crucial payment.”

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “In this announcement the RPA has confirmed there is almost exactly £1billion – 70 per cent of the fund – left to go out to 44,000 BPS claimants.

“Once received, this £1billion won’t be hanging around in farm bank accounts – it will pay bills benefitting the wider rural economy. Many rural businesses, not just farmers, are desperately waiting for this money.

“Additionally there is the impact this will be having on overdrafts; £1 billion at an average borrowing rate of 3.3 per cent equates to over £90,000 in interest every day being sucked out of the rural economy.

“More than 15,000 people have been told by the RPA they will not be paid until after the end of January. This continues to be a major concern. We are calling on the RPA to consider partial payments to these people and for Defra to give the resources needed to do it.

“The RPA must ensure farmers are aware of when they are going to be paid. No one can sensibly run a business on the basis they might be paid ‘sometime after January’.”

The NFU is pleased to see the RPA is making these announcements after the NFU’s efforts in urging the RPA to keep farmers informed on progress with claims.

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