It’s business as usual after two-day RPA shutdown

THE RURAL Payments Agency’s Carlisle office was shut down for two days because of the storms, but the processing of late Beef Special Premium claims will be unaffected, the agency has said.

The Country Land and Business Association had expressed concern that, as the office was shut on Monday (Jan 10) and Tuesday (Jan 11), the processing of applications might be held up.

Oliver Harwood, CLA head of rural economy, said if claims were not lodged on the date they arrived, then farmers would be unfairly penalised.

Although the application period for BSP claims actually closed on Dec 31, 2004, the RPA has said it will accept late claims until midnight on Jan 25, but will scale back the premium by 1% for each working day late.

A spokeswoman for the RPA said that a skeleton staff had been in the office to stamp mail as it came in, so farmers should not be affected.

“It is business as usual,” she added.