ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Dec 2014

In December 2014, the UK government established the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. The scheme aims to support farmers in the United Kingdom under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) 2014-2020 (see related state act).

 

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

1

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising

SOURCE

UK Statutory Instruments, 2014 No. 3259, The Common Agricultural Policy Basic Payment and Support Schemes (England) Regulations 2014. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3259/made

UK Statutory Instruments, 2014 No. 3260, The Common Agricultural Policy (Competent Authority and Coordinating Body) Regulations 2014. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3260/made

UK Statutory Instruments, 2014 No. 3263, The Common Agricultural Policy (Control and Enforcement, Cross-Compliance, Scrutiny of Transactions and Appeals) Regulations 2014. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3263/made

Scottish Statutory Instruments, 2015 No. 58, The Common Agricultural Policy (Direct Payments etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2015. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2015/58/made

Northern Ireland Statutory Rules, 2015 No. 191, The Common Agricultural Policy Basic Payment and Support Schemes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2015/191/made

Wales Statutory Instruments, 2015 No. 1252 (W. 84), The Common Agricultural Policy Basic Payment and Support Schemes (Wales) Regulations 2015. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2015/1252/made

Inception date: 01 Jan 2015 | Removal date: 31 Dec 2020

Financial grant

On 8 December 2014, the United Kingdom published Statutory Instrument 2014 No.3259 establishing the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. Under the scheme, eligible local farmers receive direct income payments under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF). The 2015-2020 budget for these British payments has a total value of EUR 17.9 billion (approx. USD 22 billion) established by Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of 20 December 2013, see related state act.

Income support measures to farmers take the form of financial grants. According to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, beneficiaries are active farmers that meet minimum requirements further specified by the Member States. In the case of England, SI 2014 No.3259 establishes eligibility criteria and requirements to be met by national applicants. The additional requirements are related to maintenance of agricultural surface, minimum agricultural activity, and environmental practices. Notably environmental requirements include crop diversification, maintenance of permanent grassland and the need to establish ecological focus areas on 5% of arable land. Criteria related to the ecological focus areas are provided in the annexed schedule. The program also sets incentives for young farmers.

In addition, throughout 2015, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales published their own regulations establishing the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. Notably, Scotland issued the Scottish Statutory Instrument 2015 No.58, Northern Ireland issued Statutory Rule of Northern Ireland 2015 No. 191 and Wales issued Welsh Statutory Instrument 2015 No.1252 (W.84).

The payments system will be enforced by the competent authorities and delivery bodies. The competent authority is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England; the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland; relevant Scottish Ministers in Scotland; and relevant Welsh Ministers in Wales. The delivery bodies are the Forestry Commissioners, Natural England, the Secretary of State, and/or any local action group and, where relevant, its accountable body.

The measure entered into force on 1 January 2015 for England, 16 March 2015 for Scotland, 30 April 2015 for Northern Ireland, and 14 May 2015 for Wales. The measure shall be applicable during the 2015-2020 period. Previous to that, the United Kingdom was financing its income support payments primarily from the 2007-2013 budget of the EAGF which was established under a different subset of rules.

EU's CAP framework

The CAP framework is the EU-wide agricultural policy established in 1962 that is subject to reforms and new rules every six years. According to the EU, it aims to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food. Under the CAP, Member States provide three main types of support to the agriculture sector: (i) income support measures, (ii) market measures; and (iii) rural development measures. The two first are primarily financed by the EAGF; whilst the third and last support type is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

 
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