The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) is calling for DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to look at the bigger picture when it comes to mobilising farm support payments. This follows Mr Gove’s announcement at this week’s NFU Conference where he pledged bridging payments will be made to claimants who have not received Countryside Stewardship 2018 payments by the end of March.
TFA farm policy adviser, Lynette Steel, said “The Secretary of State must recognise there are thousands of farmers who have yet to receive any form of support payments for 2018. Whether that be for BPS, Countryside Stewardship, or Environmental Stewardship. For Mr Gove to announce bridging payments for only one of these groups is only adding to the frustration that is facing farmers”.
“The RPA have been struggling to rectify problems with historic payment claims for Countryside Stewardship, whilst Environmental Stewardship payments have all but stopped following the responsibility for administration moving to the RPA last October,” said Lynette.
These payment delays are placing farming businesses under severe financial stress, as taking part in these schemes is not without cost and payments only provide farmers with income foregone.
“With rent demands now due for many tenant farmers, Mr Gove must commit to making bridging payments for all schemes starting with those individuals who have received neither payments under BPS or their agri-environment scheme,” said Lynette.