Calls for Treasury to make bridging payments a part of the BPS

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has called on the Treasury to make annual January bridging payments for the remainder of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

The Government has already been funding these types of payments for the last two years, issued in April of both years, which the CLA says makes a “positive difference to affected businesses”.

Now, the association’s president, Tim Breitmeyer, has asked the Chief Secretary of the Treasury Liz Truss to fund a bridging payment of 75% for farmers who do not receive their full BPS 2018 payment in December.

For those farmers who do not receive payments next month, knowing at this stage that a bridging payment will be forthcoming within the next few weeks will help them to plan ahead and provide much needed reassurance.

In a letter to Truss, Breitmeyer said that farmers are facing difficulties as a result of delays to payments from environmental schemes, resulting in considerable stress and worry.

“Businesses awaiting payments are often amongst those least able to wait, putting untold pressure on the operation of a farming business, and causing significant stress and worry to the individuals involved,” he said.

He stated that the Treasury should consider making January bridging payments a “planned feature” of the administrative process for the remainder of the BPS for farmers.

“We would very much welcome an end to the annual cycle of uncertainty on this issue and I expect those involved in the administration would also,” added Breitmeyer.