Deadline looming for scheme claims

Farmers in North East England have just four days to make their 2016 Basic Payment Scheme claim.

With the deadline of midnight on May 16 fast approaching, around 61.5 per cent of applications have already been submitted or are in progress, and 2,014 of these are in the North East out of a claim population of 3,723.

The new online claim elements of the Rural Payments service are said to be working well.

Farmers are being asked to complete their application before the deadline, even if they are waiting for the balance of their 2015 payment or still have an outstanding query about last year’s scheme.

All 2016 claims will be automatically updated with any verified changes in 2015 claims.

Chief executive of the RPA Mark Grimshaw said: “We know that BPS money is hugely important to farmers in the North East so we want to give everyone all the help they need to make their 2016 claim on time.

“That is why we’re geared up to help, with extensive support available online at gov.uk, over the phone and in person.

“We are urging people to apply using the Rural Payments service, but I want to reassure farmers that there is a paper option for those who need it.”

Farmers can make changes to their claim submitted before May 16 up to May 31 without incurring any penalties.

To make the online process easy to follow, step by step on-screen help is available.

A range of helpful videos and documents designed to make it easier can be found at www.gov.uk/rpa/bps2016