Tue, 01 Dec 2015
UK - The Government's Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced that around 30,000 farmers are set to receive their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme payments on Tuesday 1 December.
The farmers represent at least 35 per cent of those who claimed.
The RPA says it is also on track to meet their promise to pay the vast majority of claimants by the end of January.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss said:"My focus has always been on providing our hard-working farmers with these payments as early as possible.
"The Rural Payments Agency has worked tirelessly to process claims and I am delighted that through their dedication such a significant number of farmers will benefit from receiving their payments at the earliest possible opportunity.
"Volatile markets had made 2015 a difficult year for many of our farmers and both my and the RPA’s continued priority is to make sure the remaining payments are made as quickly as possible during the payment window.
"The added complexities and burdens of the new Common Agricultural Policy have proved challenging for everyone, which is why I am continuing to stress the need to simplify the rules and regulations in Europe for the benefit of our farming industry."
The RPA added that some claims were likely to take longer to process, due to factors such as large or cross-border farms, and the RPA will be writing to those farmers to help with cash flow problems.
NFU President Meurig Raymond urged Defra and the RPA to look at boosting resources and to consider other options - such as partial payments - to bring forward the number of payments, especially for those with more complex cases or with common land.
“It is easy to overlook why these BPS payments are important for so many rural businesses. The severity of cashflow crisis across all farm sectors is having major impacts on farmers’ suppliers, contractors and the wider rural economy, not just farm businesses,” he said.