2021 BPS to remain at 2020 levels, Welsh govt confirms

The total direct payment ceiling of £238m is the same level of support as this year's
The total direct payment ceiling of £238m is the same level of support as this year's

Basic Payment Scheme payments in 2021 will be maintained at the levels paid this year, the Welsh government has confirmed.

In her written statement, the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths stated she had ‘prioritised support’ for the sector to help with the challenges of Brexit and the pandemic.

The total direct payment ceiling of £238 million mirrors the level of support provided to farmers in 2020.

"The budget provides the same level of total payment compared to the 2020 scheme year including BPS and associated schemes," the minister said.

"It takes account the new simplified BPS calculation and removal of a separate Greening payment."

It follows the Chancellor’s spending review in November, which left the Welsh farming industry £137 million short of the funding level it expected to receive.

Ms Griffiths said she had 'prioritised support' for Welsh food producers given this funding shortfall.

NFU Cymru welcomed the announcement, saying it provided 'clarity and stability' in the short term.

The union has frequently stressed that the BPS is crucial to maintaining the supply of safe, high quality and affordable food.

"Today’s announcement from the Minister is a welcome assurance to the nation’s farmers at a very difficult time," NFU Cymru President John Davies said.

“As well as providing security to farming businesses, this announcement is a boost for our rural businesses and communities.

"Welsh farms provide the economic, social and cultural foundation of our rural communities."