A total of £291.3million in Direct Payments has been issued to 98% of Northern Ireland farmers on 1st September this year, providing a much needed boost to farming families and the rural economy in this very challenging year.
Dr Jason Foy, Head of Area-based Schemes Division, said: "I am pleased to announce another record payment performance for DAERA, with £291.3million having issued to 23,420 farmers (98% of eligible applicants) on 1st September. Payments have commenced six weeks ahead of the traditional October date again this year, to help farm businesses who rely heavily on this vital annual payment."
Dr Foy continued: "Despite challenging budgetary pressures, a linear increase of 2.32% has been applied to the Basic Payment Scheme payments in 2023. This increase in funding will be welcomed by farmers."
Payments will continue to be released following successful validation checks for the small number of remaining applications. Farm Businesses are reminded that, to ensure prompt payment, they should check that their contact details and BACS information are up to date.
For 2023, payment letters will be issued via the DAERA Messaging Service. However, if an agent completed the Single Application on behalf of the Farm Business, the payment letter will be issued by post for the 2023 scheme year.
DAERA Messaging Service is a secure way for DAERA to communicate with our customers, who will receive a notification email with a link to the 2023 Single Application Payment Letter in the DAERA Customer Portal. The DAERA Customer Portal can be accessed by completing a verification process using Government Gateway/ NI Direct Account credentials.
As DAERA continues on its move towards a more modern digital service, there will be an increase in the use of the DAERA Messaging Service as a tool for communication with customers. In the case of multi-member businesses, DAERA would encourage all business members to register with an NI Direct Account to enable businesses to make full use this service.
Notes to editors:
- Annual funding for agricultural support in Northern Ireland has been guaranteed by the Treasury until the end of this Parliament. Within the available budget, it has been possible to apply an increase of 2.32% to the value of BPS entitlements in 2023. This one-off increase applies to 2023 payments only and equates to an average of approximately £250 extra for each farmer. Depending on the size of their claim, some farmers will receive more than this amount and some farmers will receive less.
- The increase in BPS payments for 2023 is equivalent to the increase made in 2022.
- On 1st September, payments to applicants under the Protein Crops Scheme also issued, totalling £246,560.
- The Account NI system, which the Department uses to make its payments, will be upgraded during September 2023. Due to the upgrade, Account NI will be unavailable from 6pm on Wednesday 6 September to Tuesday 26 September 2023. During this time, the Department will be unable to issue Direct Payments. Payments will recommence on 26 September and extra resources have been put in place to process outstanding payments..
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