Basic Payment Scheme simplified for farmers

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Farmers will benefit from simpler and more proportionate penalties for small over-claims of land under the Basic Payment Scheme in England.

The government has simplified the way penalties are calculated for small over-claims of land as part of measures to make the BPS less complicated for customers in 2020. This follows measures introduced in March to reduce the paperwork required from young farmers.

Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis said:  “This is a small change that will make a big difference to our farmers this year.

“I am really pleased to see this change come into effect. We will continue to work hard to make claims as straightforward as possible to ensure our farmers don’t get hit with penalties for small over-claims.”

RPA chief executive, Paul Caldwell, said: “I am pleased to announce that changes to the BPS over-claim penalties will come into effect for the 2020 scheme.

“We want to continue improving the delivery of our schemes to farmers. Changes to the way these penalties are calculated will mean farmers will feel the benefit come December when payments are made. Penalties applied for small over-claims of land will be simpler and more proportionate.”

If the over-claim is more than 2 hectares or 3%, but not more than 10%, of the area determined, the RPA will apply a penalty. The penalty will be 0.75 times the size of the over-claim. As in previous years, for over-claims of more than 10% of the area determined, the penalty will be 1.5 times the size of the over-claim.

There will be no penalty for an over-claim of no more than 2 hectares or 3% of the area determined.

As trailed in March, the Government has set the exchange rate to be used for BPS 2020 payments at €1 = 0.89092. This is the same as last year so that farmers will see no material difference in their BPS payments.

Further guidance can be found on the RPA website.

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