On 8 February, Defra released the Government response to the consultation on the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and delinked payments in England.
The response sets out how the Lump Sum Exit Scheme will work. Defra will offer farmers who wish to exit the industry the option of taking a lump sum payment, enabling them to leave farming in a planned way. Once they have received a lump sum, they won’t be eligible for any further Direct Payments.
They expect that farmers will be able to apply from April 2022 to the end of September 2022. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lump-sum-payments-for-farmers-who-leave-or-retire-from-farming-and-delinked-payments.
As set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, alongside the Lump Sum Exit Scheme Defra will provide additional support for new entrants.
Defra also intend to replace the Basic Payment Scheme in 2024 with ‘delinked payments’. Once they have introduced delinked payments, recipients will no longer have to farm the land to receive the payments until they have been phased out by the end of 2027.
Replacing the Basic Payment Scheme with delinked payments will make things simpler for both farmers and the Rural Payments Agency. It will free up farmers to focus on running their business and delivering the public goods that can be rewarded under the new schemes, including the environmental land management schemes.