English farmers set for larger BPS payment this year

Farmers in England are set to see a slight increase in their subsidy payments in December after a rule change by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

It said that the Financial Discipline deduction, which in previous years has been removed to support an EU crisis fund (and then reimbursed if unspent), would not take place in 2020.

In 2019, the reduction was 1.371% on any payments worth more than €2,000 (£1,801).

See also: How to avoid key dates cash crunch with good planning

There will be no change to payment amounts based on currency fluctuations as the exchange rate for 2020 remains the same as 2019 at €1 = £0.89092, as previously reported.

The Agency said that it had made good progress processing and preparing payments so these are ready for when the payment window opens in December. 

Last week, the NFU warned that prompt payments would be essential for many arable farmers this season as the sector is facing a cashflow crunch in spring after a smaller-than-average crop harvested this summer slashed incomes.

Fraud alert

As the payment window draws near, farmers are also being reminded to stay vigilant against fraudsters impersonating banking or government officials.

The RPA said:

  • Your bank, police or the RPA will never ask you to reveal your online password, PIN or bank account details or ask you to make a payment over the telephone.
  • Never disclose personal information to someone you don’t know or open unknown or unexpected computer links or emails.
  • If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone, using a number you are familiar with or you know to be official. You can find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement.
  • If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040 or visit the Action Fraud website. 

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