21 May 2021

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has recently published news of the lump sum exit scheme and delinked payments consultation, which will run for 12 weeks and will close on 11 August 2021.

The consultation invites you to submit views on:
• the proposed lump sum exit scheme
• our proposed approach to delinked payments

The consultation follows the publication of the Agricultural Transition Plan in November last year. In the plan, Defra announced the intention to offer lump sum exit payments to farmers in England in 2022, and to replace the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) with delinked payments in 2024.

The lump sum exit scheme

In 2022, Defra plans to offer farmers in England who wish to retire the option of taking a lump sum payment in place of any further Direct Payments. The lump sum exit scheme will make space for the next generation of farmers, as well as providing opportunities for existing farmers to expand to improve their profitability. It will sit alongside extra support to help new entrants into the industry.

The consultation seeks views on who should be eligible for the lump sum exit scheme and how the payments should be calculated.

Delinked payments

It is expected that Direct Payments from the land for all farmers will be ‘delinked’ in 2024 . This means that recipients will no longer have to farm the land to receive the payments. Delinked payments will replace the current BPS for all farmers in England.

As recipients will no longer need to meet the current BPS rules, this will simplify the payments as we phase them out over the remainder of the agricultural transition.

Those who continue farming will still have to comply with legal standards that protect the environment, animal and plant health, and animal welfare.

The consultation seeks views on the reference period to be used to determine eligibility for, and calculate the value of, delinked payments.

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