Basic payment scheme – many farmers still missing out on payments

Many farmers are still missing out on the full basic payments they are entitled to from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

According to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) many of its members who were entitled to receive payments for 2015, claim they are still waiting to receive the full Basic Payment.

As the 2016 application system has gone live, many claimants are finding that data is missing or is incorrect on their pre-populated application form.

Farmers and landowners with common land, cross border claims or those who had inspections (including “remote sensing”) should have been notified by the RPA in November of delays to their 2015 claim. These claims represent a significant proportion of the 2015 claims still unpaid.

According to the RPA, a significant number of claimants received letters in March stating that their claim would be paid by the end of the month and although some claims were paid, many payments have still not been processed. The RPA will now be contacting those claimants to explain why and what the next steps are.

Some of the reasons for underpayment that have been identified include:

  • Greening faults including incorrect declarations, “mistakes” on the ground or as a result of over declaration;
  • A significant number of land parcels being lost from a business claim – where the RPA cannot find the parcels identified in a claim – resulting in an over claim;
  • Incorrect coding of land use in mapping (permanent pasture, arable or ineligible land) resulting in a conflict between what is claimed for and what a map shows;
  • Designation of land as ineligible owing to tree cover or similar.

Ian Lloyd, a general practice manager at Milsted Langdon, who specialises in farming and land issues, said: “Although the RPA has caught up with many outstanding payments, it is important to ensure that any monies owning are claimed for and any omissions, particularly missing information on the 2016 forms, are rectified to ensure there is not a repeat of the 2015 delays.”

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Posted in ARA.