The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced that over 54,000 farmers in England received their 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money over the first four days of the payment window.
Payments between 1 - 6 December were made to over 63% of eligible claimants, and worth more than £850 million in total. These include a range of 2017 BPS claim types and sizes, as well as those inspected and farmers with common land.
Thanks to increased entitlement values and greening rates, coupled with the favourable BPS exchange rate confirmed in September, basic payments will be worth 25% more on average this year, compared to 2015.
RPA Chief Executive, Paul Caldwell said:
We are making strong progress against last year’s performance and remain focused on getting remaining payments out as quickly as possible, as I understand how important they are for farmers.
Further updates on figures will be made throughout the payment window on GOV.UK.
BPS payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer so farmers should make sure RPA has the most up-to-date account details. Once a payment has been made a remittance advice is sent in the post, confirming the amount paid. Claim statements will also be sent, explaining how payments have been worked out.
More information on BPS 2017, including scheme rules and details of how payments are calculated, is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/bps-2017.
Farmers are urged to be vigilant against fraud. Remember:
- Your bank, police or the RPA will never ask you to reveal your online password, PIN or bank account details or ask you to make a payment over the telephone.
- Never enter into a conversation with someone you don’t know or open unknown or unexpected computer links or emails.
- If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone, using a number you are familiar with or you know to be official. You can usually find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 without delay for advice and to register your concern.