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Thread: New Basic Payments service and RPA

  1. #1
    Junior Member tomallen's Avatar
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    New Basic Payments service and RPA

    I’m going to the RPA headquarters next week (12 Jan) to find out about the new Basic Payment service and the improvements they’ve made to their systems in recent years. In particular, I’m keen to find out whether the RPA has learnt from the shambles that ensued when SPS was introduced – if you remember, payments were delayed by over a year for some farmers, and the RPA was hauled up in front of an EFRA select committee and told they had demonstrated a ‘master class in bad decision making’.

    I’ve got my own concerns – I’m an arable farmer who claims subsidy through the RPA. But I’m keen to know what concerns others have about the new system. For example:
    • You’ll only be able to claim BPS online through the government portal. How do we feel about RPA’s ability to deliver a reliable service? What aspects in particular do we need to make it user-friendly and usable?
    • What aspects worked well about the old system that we don’t want to lose?
    • Have you had problems with your SPS forms in the past that you fear may resurface under the new system?
    • There are likely to be more aspects of BPS to do with measurements of hedgerows, etc that may take time for RPA to process. What can the RPA do with the new system that will give you confidence it won’t run into difficulties?
    • One of the problems with the introduction of SPS was that RPA adopted a new computer system at the same time, which let them down. If you’ve used the RPA online system recently, what’s your impression of it? Is it now up to the job?


    The research is for a major article I’m writing for CPM (Crop Production Magazine) Feb issue. I’m seeing some of the management staff at RPA, as well as their techies. So I want to be sure the article addresses our concerns about BPS as much as possible.

  2. #2
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    I've heard the new system is a far bigger shambles than the old one. They just about get the old one right & then they change things. No doubt a whole new IT system that cost umpteen millions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member matthew's Avatar
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    I can't get my head around why all the hedgerows, many in ELS type schemes, need to be re mapped, with all the palaver that will cause. Owen Paterson warned that anyone using hedges for 'greening' risked a delay in payment, but not why.
    Our hedges have been the same for decades.
    Why do we need to re map?

  4. #4
    Member Springador's Avatar
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    Between Christmas and the new year, I contacted the RPA to try and register afresh on line and found it impossible.

    I found the portal for Scotland, for Wales etc, but try as I could, I failed to find the new portal (the link I had been given did not work at all) thus I had to abandon my attempts as the link I had been given was about to expire!

    Now I am not thick and have used computers for years - I am also a Surveyor as well as a farmer and use a computer most days of the week - so I think a lot of folk are going to have big problems.

    Strangely enough I have just received updated field maps - which made me laugh as they have noticed two ponds in two separate fields that have existed for about 100 years which they have calculated the size and removed from my quota as being inadmissible.

    My thoughts are that the RPA are trying very hard to find any excuse they can to reduce payments - period.

    In conclusion I have absolutely no faith in any of the bodies whatsoever and from personal experience via the High court against DEFRA I have found them untruthful, devious and totally unfit for any purpose.

    Regards

  5. #5
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    The remap of hedgerows is to bring us in line with Europe, it's a faf but at least give farmers that are struggling to meet greening another option.

    I didn't think anyone could register for the English system yet, as although we now have to follow the basic payment rules, the application portal isn't live yet? I could be wrong on that and haven't checked.

  6. #6
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    I was told Feb by our agent.

  7. #7
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    As said they made a big enough hash of the sps when it was introduced - they finally got mine right and paid promptly this year.

    The fact we are guinea pigs for the new government portal at the same time as introducing a new payment scheme suggests to me at best chaos, at worst, government looking for ways to delay payments. I hope I'm wrong.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    Deliberate delaying is unlikely because they will get fined again. Eventually.

  9. #9
    Member Springador's Avatar
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    Well I tried to log in last week, without success and I have tried yet again tonight having received another new number and link -via email following my telephone enquiry today to RPA.

    Frankly I am not sure whether or not I was succesfull as last time I thought I had acheived it and only found out today that I had enrolled to access to the old system - now defunct!

    Over the past few days I have read and studied the guidance notes and they appear to me to be as clear as mud!

    I think there are going to be many tears shed over this new initiative and i think it is grossly unfair as an awful lot of folk will not readily understand the interpretations - for instance what is the blurb about having too many entitlements all about? - it then goes on to say that you must use them in a two year period or lose the excess ones!

    It may well be to our collective advantage to start complaining now as a collective group as we are in election year and the MP's will be more likely to help before May 2015 - whereas afterwards it will be sod off as per normal - what do you think?

  10. #10
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    Re: New Basic Payments service and RPA

    As far as I understand, if you don't use entitlements by May 25th, they will be returned to the National Reserve. But I was told that a while back so it may have changed. I think it's pretty clear that you won't be able to own entitlements and not apply them to land but it's unclear what the tolerance is on that.

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