RPA’s performance on BPS 2016 branded ‘disappointing’

RPA’s performance on BPS 2016 branded ‘disappointing’

£1.48 billion has now been paid out across a range of claim types, including those inspected and those with cross-border issues.

The progress means the RPA has hit its end of March target two months early, but NFU vice president Guy Smith remained concerned.

He said: “A month ago we were enthusiastically congratulating the RPA for surpassing their much vaunted ‘90 per cent out by the new year’ target. A month on it is difficult to get enthusiastic about a couple of percentage points improvement. Indeed, you could describe it as disappointing.

“We recognise that as the 90 per cent point is surpassed, the claims can get more difficult. However, we are aware that for those not paid the knowledge that most people have been paid is no help.

“We are also aware there are thousands who feel their 2015 claim is still not concluded. We call on Defra and the RPA to clear their decks of all outstanding BPS work as we move towards the opening of the 2017 application window.”

Commoners

Concerns also remained around commoners. Foundation for Common Land executive director Julia Aglionby said: “RPA staff are working hard to deliver BPS payments to commoners, so the 2016 situation is massively better than 2015.

“The percentage of commoners paid BPS remains lower than the population of farmers as a whole and some payments do not include the full amount for the common. Several hundred commoners have yet to receive their 2016 payment and many are still awaiting top up payments for 2015.

“We continue to meet regularly with the RPA to constructively resolve these issues, but with tax bills due on January 31, we have this week seen an increase in contacts from individual farmers suffering hardship.”

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the RPA would remain fully focused on paying all remaining eligible claims as quickly as possible.

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