Shropshire MP welcomes rural payment changes

Changes from the government to the way in which direct payments are paid to farmers have been welcomed by South Shropshire's MP Philip Dunne.

Philip Dunne MP
Philip Dunne MP

To help farmers with their cashflow, the Government has announced that direct payments in England will be paid in two instalments each year for the remainder of the agricultural transition period - which EU rules would not have permitted.

The deadline for submitting Basic Payment Scheme 2022 applications is next Monday and, under these plans, farmers with eligible applications will receive the first payment of 50 per cent from the end of July and the second from December.

With agricultural commodities closely linked to global gas prices, farmers are facing rising costs for inputs including manufactured fertiliser, feed, fuel and energy.

Output prices, particularly wheat, are also high, and from analysis published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Mr Dunne, who receives direct payments for his family farm, said it was clear farmers should continue to buy their inputs as usual. He said the steps the Government is taking to bring forward payments will allow them to do so.

Mr Dunne said: “I spoke to Defra Secretary George Eustice after Easter about the need to give further support to farmers, who are facing the immediate impact of increased costs to fuel, fertiliser and feed.

"While farm gate prices remain stable, this does cause significant cash flow issues, so taking a more flexible approach to direct payments is a help in the right direction.”

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