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Basic Payment Scheme Update

The good news is that we now know with some certainty how much the 2015 payments are going to be worth.  Despite a poor exchange rate (€1 = £0.73 compared with a 2014 exchange rate of €1 = £0.78), total payments to farmers are due to be approximately £181.37 per hectare which is inclusive of the greening payment. There is the possibility that the payment will be reduced by a small margin under the Financial Discipline Mechanism but this is unlikely to cause too much distortion.  Overall, this is a significantly higher payment than most farmers were anticipating at the introduction of the scheme earlier this year.
On the downside, there is still significant uncertainty over when payments will actually be made and many farmers will be concerned that payments could be made in early 2016 rather than December 2015.  All we know at the current time is that the RPA are expecting to make “the majority of payments” by the end of December and “the vast majority” by the end of January, with some being even later than that.