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Wales blames RPA for holding up cross border payments

About 95 per cent of Welsh have now received at least their first BPS instalment, with three-quarters paid in full. Many of those left to pay are now waiting on the Rural Payments Agency in England.
Some Welsh farmers are waiting for the fog to lift in England before they can be paid
Some Welsh farmers are waiting for the fog to lift in England before they can be paid

 

The Rural Payment Agency’s difficulties in delivering the Basic Payment Scheme in England are delaying the hundreds of outstanding payments in Wales.

 

On Tuesday, Welsh Deputy Food and Farming Deputy Minister Rebecca Evans announced, by the end of the week, 95 per cent of BPS claimants in Wales would have received their part payments.

 

Three quarters of eligible claimants would also have had their full pay out.

 

The Welsh Government got into a position to deliver more payments after it the European Commission’s April 1 deadline to establish BPS entitlement values.

 

But she said most of the outstanding payments were cross border claims, now held up by RPA.

 

Ms Evans said: "Of those farm businesses that have yet to receive a part-payment, the vast majority are due to the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) in England experiencing considerable operational difficulties, which has meant we are still waiting for useable cross-border data.

 

"My officials continue to press RPA for the detailed information that will allow the Welsh Government to pay the relevant farm businesses affected."

 

"We will continue to process the remaining claims throughout April, and all but a very small number of complex BPS cases will have been paid, in full, by the end of this month.”

RPA response

An RPA spokesman said: "Typically claims with a greater degree of processing complexity, such as cross border claims, are likely to take longer to process and pay, as they did under the Single Payment Scheme.

 

"We understand the importance of these payments to these farmers and are focused on finalising the remaining BPS claims as quickly as possible.

 

"We are required by the EU to carry out certain checks before payment can be made. We are working with the Welsh Government to share the relevant information in due course."

 

 


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Hundreds of Welsh farmers still waiting for BPS payments Hundreds of Welsh farmers still waiting for BPS payments

Cross border anger

One of the affected farmers, Robert Probert, from Montgomeryshire, said it was ‘crazy’ Welsh cross border payments like his were being delayed by RPA.

 

Mr Probert, a beef and sheep farmer, has approximately 110 acres across the border as well as about 400 acres. He fears, while the Welsh Government has done its bit, his payment could be delayed for some weeks yet.

 

"England are holding up the Welsh payment. Yet it’s a welsh entitlement. It is crazy.

 

"Mark Grimshaw has talked about paying 92 per cent of claims in England. Well, there is 100 per cent of Welsh farmers who have got English ground who have not been paid.

 

"Our forms are still in the drawer. The Welsh Government are ready to pay but they can't pay until they have the information from England.

 

“We are we always last? Why are we always getting kicked? Next year will Mr Grimshaw think of paying us cross border farmers first?”

 

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