Welsh govt confirms intention to continue BPS in 2021

Rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths indicated that the Welsh government intends to continue a form of the BPS scheme for a further year
Rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths indicated that the Welsh government intends to continue a form of the BPS scheme for a further year

Wales' rural affairs minister has confirmed her intention to continue the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) unchanged in 2021.

This is, however, subject to the Welsh government continuing to receive 'sufficient levels of funding' for agricultural support from the next UK government.

Last year, minister Lesley Griffiths announced that BPS would continue unchanged in 2020 in a bid to provide certainty and to transition to a new Land Management Programme.

Since then, the date of the UK’s departure from the EU has been delayed and plans to transition from EU CAP schemes to a new programme have been paused.



Although unable to provide commitments around the level of funding, Ms Griffiths indicated she intends to continue a form of the BPS scheme for a further year.

This means the earliest any multiyear managed transition to the new, targeted system of farm support could commence will be 2022.



Ms Griffiths said: “In light of the continuing uncertainty, I am announcing my intention to extend the BPS to 2021, subject to sufficient funding being provided by the next UK government for agricultural support.

“Looking further ahead, I intend to continue to support farmers post Brexit but in a smarter way. These will be significant changes for the sector and are entirely dependent on when the UK leaves the EU and the UK government providing the same levels of funding to Wales – neither of which have yet been confirmed.”

NFU Cymru welcomed the news, saying it would provide 'comfort and reassurance' to the farming industry during this period of uncertainty.

The union's president John Davies said: “I am delighted that the minister has made an early announcement that gives comfort and reassurance not just to Welsh farmers, but to all the thousands of businesses that rely on farming for so much of their income.

“The decision to maintain the BPS 2021 allows for proper consideration of a new farming policy, time to model, pilot and fully assess the impact of any changes.”

Ms Griffiths also reminded farmers to apply for the BPS Support Scheme, in place for 2019, to ensure most farm businesses receive the majority of their full claim value when the payment window opens.