The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is seeking the views of stakeholders on potential options for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlement unit values post 2019.
BPS provides direct support to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
This exercise meets a commitment given by DAERA in its ‘Northern Ireland Future Agricultural Policy Framework’ document last year to engage with stakeholders during 2019 on this issue.
Currently, different farmers hold entitlements with varying unit values, which are activated each year by declaring one hectare of eligible agricultural land per payment entitlement.
In June 2014, the decision was made to transition entitlement unit values towards a flat rate support regime over a seven year period 2015-2021. By the end of 2019, BPS payment entitlements will have transited 71.4% of the way towards flat rate.
At the time of the decision and in guidance issued to farmers in 2015, it was made clear that arrangements after the 2019 scheme year would depend on future CAP Reform decisions. It is now assumed that when the UK leaves the EU, direct support will operate under domestic legislation.
Therefore, the purpose of this exercise is to seek stakeholders’ views on two potential options post 2019:
- Continue the transition towards a flat rate payment by 2021, or
- Freeze the unit value of the entitlements at the end of 2019
BPS provides direct income support for farmers, and the Department encourages all those who have an interest to forward their views to the Department by 30 September 2019 at the latest.
The ‘Options for Basic Payment Scheme Entitlement Unit Values post 2019 Stakeholder Engagement’ document is now on the DAERA website.
Anyone wishing to comment must do so by 30 September 2019.
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