Farming groups have given a cautious welcome to the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) announcement that over 70 per cent of commoners have now received a 2016 BPS payment.
The progress was made following a promise from Defra Ministers to make BPS payments to as many commoners as possible by the end of 2016, even if there were unresolved issues with their 2015 claims.
Julia Aglionby, executive director of the Foundation for Common Land, said: “The RPA has made substantial progress. The next phase is to update the control data on common land then make further payments where required.
“We are aware that many hundreds of commoners are still awaiting their 2016 payment and or their top-up for 2015 BPS. We continue to press the RPA to keep to the timetable they provided to the Efra committee that the 2015 corrections will be completed by the end of January 2017.”
NFU BPS adviser Richard Wordsworth also said work on commons claims is ‘not finished’ and promised to continue pushing the RPA to issue remaining payments and adjust retrospective payments.