Hill farmers and commoners, in particuar, have been badly treated by the RPA. We urge the RPA to heed the finding and recomendations of report from the Public Accounts Commitee released today and not to repeat these mistakes in 2016. The report highlights inexcusable failures for the delay in payments. The summary states that:
Mark Grimshaw, CEO of the Rural Payments Agency announced at the NFU Council Meeting on 13th October that common land BPS claimants are complex cases so unlikely to receive payments until February 2016 at the earliest.
'Dual use’, which allows farmers to claim funding from different CAP schemes on the same land, will continue to be available Farming Minister George Eustice announced on Monday (21st September).
We welcome this decision as commoners will be able to continue delivering conservation needs through environmental stewardship schemes and receive Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments on the same common. Also this decision should ensure that the existing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application process is un-interrupted and payments are delivered on time.
A new introductory leaflet to Countryside Stewardship has just been published. We thought you would be interested so please see the link below.
Our first impressions is that Countryside Stewardship appears so focused on biodiversity there is little room for financially supporting the delivery of any other outcomes. Landscape, cultural heritage and access are the very poor relations in this current round of CAP. This is not good news for hill farmers.
The main points in relation to commons seem to be:
This leaflet provides more details on the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). This includes information on the active farmer rules, the national reserve for BPS entitlements and important information for new and young farmers on their potential eligibility for new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements and how they can find out whether they are eligible to claim for top up payments worth up to 25 per cent of the average value of their entitlements.
The Federation has sent a letter to the Editor of the Farmers Guardian defending Defra plans to move CAP money uphill.
The letter was in response to an article that appeared last week's Farmers Guardian outlining the fact that the NFU is suggesting that proposed 82.3 per cent increase in the moorland rate is ‘disproportionately large. The NFU goes on to say
Political agreement was finally reached on the future CAP after The Commission, The Council, and the EU Parliament came to an agreement this Wednesday the 26th June. The deal is yet to be formally approved by Council and EU Parliament and there are still some outstanding issues to be dealt with, in particular the moving of funds between Pillar 1 and 2, rates of member state co-financing and the question of capping large payments.