RPA announce bridging payment

In case you haven’t heard, yesterday Mark Grimshaw announced that RPA will be making 50% bridging payments to commoners and others who haven’t received a BPS15 payment yet – see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rpa-to-fast-track-bridging-payments .

The 50% will be paid at the end of April with the balance paid by the end of June. Claimants will receive a letter with the payment, so they are clear that it is the bridging payment and not the full payment. Technically speaking this payment is a loan to farmers from the Exchequer and will be netted off your 2nd BPS 2015 payment.

I attended a Defra Direct Payments conference call this afternoon and I asked 50% of what? RPA haven’t finalised the workings of the methodology yet, but will share it with us.

Of course 50% is better than nothing, but  the Federation has been asking for interim payments since last December. I was checking up on the letter I sent to George Eustice on the 15th December - in it I requested that he consider “… to make a partial commons payment based on say 50% of the expected claim for common land.” It's taken him a long time to listen to a sound suggestion. Better late than never perhaps …..