£1.6bn delivered in the first 2 weeks of the BPS payment window

More than 92% of farmers in England received their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in the first two weeks of the payment window.

The latest figures from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) show that 92.4% of payments were made by the end of Friday, December 13, worth £1.6 billion.

It builds on the 59,600 farmers who received payments totalling £1.2 billion on December 2, the first day of the payment window.

In Wales, over £214 million was paid into the bank accounts of more than 14,600 Welsh farm businesses on the first week of the payment window.

It meant that over 93.5% of farm businesses were paid or received their full BPS claim or a BPS Support Scheme payment within a week of the payment window opening.

Meanwhile, across the water in Northern Ireland, almost all (99%) of the region’s farmers received full or balance direct payments on the first day of the pay-out window.

Earlier Stewardship payments

The Rural Payments Agency explained that those who claimed in 2019 on their Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements will receive one full payment this year, as part of a wider improvement plan to deliver a better service to farmers and land managers.

This means that ES and CS final payments have started to arrive with customers four months earlier than last year, with £77.8 million ES and £4.3 million CS payments made so far. Those eligible should expect to receive their payment within the payment window which runs between December 2019 and June 2020.

RPA chief executive, Paul Caldwell, said: “We are committed to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers, so that rural businesses can plan for the year ahead.

We remain focussed on continuously improving the delivery and performance of BPS, CS and ES schemes, and this year CS and ES customers will receive their one full payment against their annual claim.

“Payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer, so farmers should make sure the RPA has the most up-to-date account details on the Rural Payments service.”

Be wary of fraudsters

Claimants are also urged to remain vigilant against fraud.

  • 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 disclose personal information to 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.

If in doubt, contact Action Fraud on: 0300-123-2040.