Continuing concern over payment plan

Farming
Farming

After last year’s ongoing saga with the Basic Payment Scheme for farmers, this year’s BPS application is now open.

The 2015 scheme left a high number of farmers frustrated by late and under payments, so the announcement that the 2016 BPS application window is open is not particularly welcome news, according to local land and property consultants George F White.

As of Monday, May 16, applications are to be processed online for 2016, but unfortunately it does not look like the process will be any simpler than before.

Given the issues surrounding last year, there is mounting scepticism on the organisation and efficiency of this year’s online application and payment process.

Payments cannot be cross checked until a claim statement has been received. Farmers who have been underpaid are advised to email the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) so this can be formally logged and help reduce the pressure on the helpline.

Sally Horrocks, a Farm Business Consultant at George F White, said: “Despite moving to an online system, the application process for BPS may not necessarily be quicker in comparison to the 2015 paper form.

“With claim and entitlement statements still to be issued to farmers, there won’t be much time for pre-submission checks of the pre-populated application to make sure the RPA has uploaded data onto the online system correctly.”

To discuss this year’s BPS application process or if anyone would like any guidance, call Sally Horrocks at George F White on 01677 458201 or email sallyhorrocks@georgefwhite.co.uk