Cumbrian farmers could see a slight increase in their farm payments in December after a rule change by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

RPA said that the Financial Discipline deduction, which in previous years has been removed to support an EU crisis fund (and then reimbursed if unspent), would not take place in 2020.

In 2019, the reduction was 1.371 per cent on any payments worth more than €2,000 (£1,801).

There will be no change to payment amounts based on currency fluctuations as the exchange rate for 2020 remains the same as 2019 at €1 = £0.89092, as previously reported.

The agency said that it had made good progress processing and preparing payments so these are ready for when the payment window opens in December.

However, as the payment window draws near, farmers are also being reminded to stay vigilant against fraudsters impersonating banking or Government officials. Your bank, police or the RPA 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 disclose personal information to someone you don’t know or open unknown or unexpected computer links or emails. If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone.