Agriculture Bill to be introduced into Parliament today
The Agriculture Bill is being introduced into Parliament today and sets out in broad terms how the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be replaced in England by an Environmental Land Management system which is to use "public money for public goods" and will begin tests and trials next year (2019) and pilots from 2021.
- BPS will remain "on the same basis as now" for 2019 and 2020, with simplifications being made where possible. There will then be a 7 year "agricultural transition" period from 2021 to 2027 when BPS will be phased out.
- Capping is to be applied to all BPS claimants, rather than just those with high payments as suggested in DEFRA's Health and Harmony consultation, but those with higher payments will be subject to a bigger reduction.
- BPS payments are to be "delinked" during the "agricultural transition" period (2021-2027) from the existing requirement to carry out an "agricultural activity" on agricultural land. Instead, the payments "may be calculated according to money received in previous years", so could see an historic reference period applied.
- BPS 2027 will be the final year of direct payments.
Further details will be given on this website once the Bill has been published.