CARWYN JONES, Welsh assembly rural affairs minister, has poured cold water on the assertion that CAP reform will bankrupt some Welsh new entrants.

The newly formed lobby group New Entrants Farming Wales claimed that the decision to pay historically based single farm payments would hit developing farm businesses hard, possible reducing current support by 50%.

They said that heavy demand for entitlements from a national reserve capped at 3% of national entitlements would reduce applicants‘ allocations significantly.

Mr Jones, who has agreed to meet the group, said industry speculation had created an entirely misleading picture.

“I can categorically state that no calculations have been made about individual CAP payments from next year,” he insisted.

“Decisions have yet to be made on a number of detailed operational issues. One relates to the national reserve and this is subject to consultation through to early June.

“No decisions will be taken until I have carefully considered all the responses.”

He had published an indication of what SFPs might be if Wales had adopted an area based model, which it had not.

To use this figure to anticipate the value of payments from the reserve had no basis in fact, and he described some of the estimates as “spurious”.

Welsh YFCs supported the historic approach as being in the best interest of Wales and Welsh farmers, and would contribute actively to consultation on the national reserve and its distribution.