The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond has announced the Treasury’s decision to guarantee agricultural spending through to 2020.
This confirms that Farmers claiming the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and existing agri-environment schemes such as ELS, HLS and Countryside Stewardship will receive funding for the next four years.
Mr Hammond stated “We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.”
The Treasury have also guaranteed that the current level of agricultural funding will continue until 2020, as part of the transition to new domestic arrangements. It is still unclear whether new Countryside Stewardship Schemes to commence on 1st January 2017 will be offered.
Tony Rimmer of Rostons stated “It is reassuring for UK farmers to have clarification that funding will continue in the short term. A number of farming businesses rely on these subsidies to make a profit and without them, it would have a huge detrimental effect. The last 18 months within the agricultural sector has been hard for many, the recent announcement will be welcomed with open arms. I imagine those schemes post 2020 will be mainly environmentally based and hopefully planning for the potential new schemes will start sooner rather than later”.