RPA confirms 2018 BPS and CS payments

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed that farmers which are due to receive their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments and Countryside Stewardship (CS) advances will receive bridging payments this month.

According to the RPA, eligible claimants will receive 75% of the current estimated value of their claim. This should help farmers to manage their business cash flow while the remaining amount on their claim is processed.

However, as the body points out, more than 99 per cent of BPS 2018 claims have already been processed, and payments have already been made to more than 95 per cent of farmers who are delivering important environmental work. The CS bridging payments will cover the balance.

The RPA has written directly to farmers to provide an update on bridging payments and on how these payments will be calculated. All eligible BPS claimants and CS 2018 advance claimants will start receiving bridging payments from 12 April.

Commenting on the notices, a spokesman for the RPA said that the organisation has worked hard to improve its performance on the BPS and this year only a small number of farmers will need bridging payments.

So far this year, the RPA has issued 98 per cent of CS 2019 Mid-Tier agreements and 95 per cent of CS 2019 Higher Tier agreements. Farmers and land managers are reminded to sign and return these agreements and to submit their BPS 2019 applications as early as possible. The claim window for BPS, CS and ES schemes closes on 15 May 2019.