The Rural Payments Agency has indicated that it is coping with the level of calls coming into its helpline for Single Payment Scheme payment and entitlement queries.

A spokesman said the call centre received nearly 1500 calls on its opening day of business (6 Mar).

“We took 1491 calls about entitlements and another 583 on transfer and mapping queries,” he said. “But there were no queues or waiting times.”

The spokesman said most calls were from people wanting to know when they might get their payment and also asking why their entitlements were unvalidated.

He added: “Most callers were good humoured, although one or two were frustrated.” The helpline number is 0845 603 7777 and it is open from 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday.