More than two-thirds of farmers receive new payments

Payments worth �822 million have reached farmers since December 1, the Rural Payments Agency said.
Payments worth �822 million have reached farmers since December 1, the Rural Payments Agency said.
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The Rural Payments Agency has announced that some 59,000 farmers in England have now received their 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money.

The payments to 68 per cent of eligible claimants, worth £822m, include a range of 2016 BPS claim types and sizes, and includes young farmer, those whose farms were inspected and farmers with common land, the Agency said.

In a statement, the Agency added that it remained focused on paying 90 per cent of eligible claims by the end of December.

The new payments window opened on December 1 following a previous payments round beset with delays and inaccurate payments.

Tim Breitmeyer, deputy president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), said: “The RPA’s single-minded focus on meeting its 90 per cent paid by the end of December target for 2016 BPS payments will be of little comfort to the many hundreds of farmers still left with incomplete or unclear settlements from the 2015 payment round.

“We will not allow these outstanding problems to be ignored and will continue to demand that all outstanding 2015 claims are settled immediately and, at the same time, expedite the payment of their 2016 claims. Behind each unpaid claim is a story of significant pressure and unnecessary hardship and we will not allow the RPA and Defra to forget them.”