NFU Cymru has welcomed today’s announcement at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair by Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, that her department will pay over 91%, 14,111, of all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims on the first day of the 2017 payment window (Friday 1st December).
Stephen James, NFU Cymru President said: “Today’s announcement that over 91% of claims will be paid on the first day of the payment window, together with an improved exchange rate, up 4.98% on the 2016 rate, is good news and will be a boost not just to farm businesses but also to the thousands of rural businesses that rely heavily on farmers for much of their income.
“The positive impact of this support has been quantified within the Contributions of UK Agriculture report that was launched at the NFU Conference in February this year, which shows that for every £1 invested in farm support in the UK, farming delivers around £7.40 back to the economy.”
Following the BPS announcement, NFU Cymru is urging farming businesses to be on their guard and be extra vigilant to any suspicious e-mails or phone calls as fraudsters may try to target farmers.
Mr James said: “At this time of the year when many farming businesses receive CAP payments, unfortunately fraudsters may use this as an opportunity to target farmers who receive such payments. As these payments are vital to the livelihood of many businesses, it is important that farmers are fully aware that there are criminals trying to obtain money from farmers by deception. Fraudsters can send emails to try and obtain passwords for bank accounts or even try and trick you into making payments into different bank accounts.”
• Your bank, police or RPW 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 discuss your bank account details with someone you don’t know, or open unknown or unexpected website 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 usually find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement.
• Look out for emails from suppliers asking for funds to be transferred to a different bank account, emails claiming that there is a problem with an account etc.
• If you feel you’ve been the subject of fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 without delay for advice and to register your concern.
Mr James concluded: “I would like to thank Welsh Government staff for their work in ensuring that over 91% of farmers will receive their payment on the first day of the payment window. I hope that all efforts can now be concentrated on ensuring the remaining 9% will not have to wait too much longer.”