Michael Gove has been told to 'look at the bigger picture' when it comes to mobilising support payments as many farmers still wait for money to enter their bank accounts.
Thousands of farmers are stilling waiting to receive support payments for 2018, such as BPS, Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship payments.
At the NFU Conference, Defra Secretary Michael Gove announced bridging payments to be made to claimants who have not received Countryside Stewardship 2018 payments by the end of March.
But the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has called for Gove to 'look at the bigger picture' when processing farm payments and include everyone who is waiting.
TFA Farm Policy Adviser, Lynette Steel said: “For Gove to announce bridging payments for only one of these groups is only adding to the frustration that is facing farmers.
“The RPA have been struggling to rectify problems with historic payment claims for Countryside Stewardship, whilst Environmental Stewardship payments have all but stopped following the responsibility for administration moving to the RPA last October.”
Such payment delays place farming businesses under severe financial stress, as taking part in these schemes is not without cost and payments only provide farmers with income foregone.
“With rent demands now due for many tenant farmers, Gove must commit to making bridging payments for all schemes starting with those individuals who have received neither payments under BPS or their agri-environment scheme,” said Ms Steel.