Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
Today I am announcing the introduction of a 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Support Scheme.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role played by our agriculture industry in our resilience as a society. During these unprecedented times, it has been my priority to ensure farmers are given the flexibility and support necessary to protect food supply chains and our long-term environmental resilience.
In response to the pandemic I re-opened the 2019 BPS and Glastir Entry and Advanced Support Schemes to applicants who had not previously received a payment, extended scheme application and claim deadlines, including the 2020 Single Application Form submission deadline. I also introduced a Diary Support Scheme.
I intend to build on the success of the Support Schemes introduced in previous years by once again implementing a BPS Support Scheme for 2020. This will provide Welsh farm businesses that apply, much needed financial certainty during these unprecedented times, whilst the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU remains unclear as we move towards the end of the implementation period.
The 2020 BPS Support Scheme will again pay a loan of up to 90% of an individual business’ anticipated BPS claim value. The scheme will ensure parity between farm businesses, as we plan to make BPS Support Scheme payments during the second week of the BPS payment window, which once again opens on 1 December.
As in 2019, farm businesses will need to apply for the BPS Support Scheme. Rural Payments Wales (RPW) will provide further details and make an online application available from 1 September. Subject to applicants meeting the necessary terms and conditions, payment will be made to those claimants whose BPS 2020 claims have not been validated by the beginning of December. I would encourage all 2020 BPS claimants to apply using the simple online form.
I am making this statement in recess in order to keep members informed. I will be happy to make a further statement after recess if members would find it helpful.