Poots announces 4.3% increase to BPS entitlements for 2020

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture Edwin Poots has announced that a linear increase of 4.3% will be applied to all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements in the 2020 scheme year.

Commenting today (Friday, October 2), the minister said:

“Over time, the difference between the value of direct payments made to farmers and the budget allocation has increased due to a number of issues such as not all BPS entitlements being activated for payment.

“Therefore I have decided to apply an increase of 4.3% to the unit value of all BPS entitlements in the 2020 scheme year.”

Direct payments to farmers in the 2020 scheme year consist of the BPS, Greening Payment and Young Farmers’ Payment. 2020 scheme year payments are nationally funded and the budget allocation to Northern Ireland is £293 million.

The minister continued: “This increase will be worth approximately £8 million in total or £330 on average per farmer.

“It will ensure that our expenditure on direct payments will match our budget allocation of £293 million which under Treasury rules is ring-fenced and can only be used for these payments.

I continue to be committed to supporting our agricultural sector as this increase to BPS entitlements demonstrates.

“I can confirm that the department remains on track to commence full payments to farmers for the 2020 scheme year from October 16, 2020, which has become possible as a result of EU Exit,” the minister concluded.