With just weeks left until the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) closes the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2018 application window, Paul Laird of leading independent accountancy firm The Fish Partnership is encouraging farmers to seek help if they are struggling.
The BPS is an important subsidy paid to the majority of UK farmers and forms part of the money provided by the EU to the UK’s rural community.
Administered by the RPA, it has come under criticism in recent years following delays to the essential payments and a reduction in the number of helpful drop-in centres on offer to farmers.
In order to claim the BPS, farmers must provide a package of information that helps the RPA to assess the amount of subsidy they are entitled to, which can include information on the smallest of details, such as hedge boundaries.
Speaking about the BPS process, Paul, a Director at the Fish Partnership and an expert in the affairs of farming communities, said: “Collecting, collating and checking the data and information required for the BPS submission can take weeks, but failing to secure the subsidy could be the difference between survival and failure for some farms.
“It is important that they do not take this task lightly and if they are unsure they should seek the advice of a professional who can help them complete their submission on time.
“While the future of such subsidy payments to the farming community after 2021 is still in question in light of Brexit, it is important that farms put themselves in a strong position ahead of this date to ensure they are able to weather any future stormy periods.”