An easy-to-use online calculator has been launched by Defra to help Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claimants see how progressive reductions will affect their direct payment in England.
Reductions have been announced for scheme years 2021 to 2024, with this year’s cuts starting at 5% for amounts up to £30,000, rising through several bands so that the tranche above £150,000 will be subject to a 25% cut this year.
No personal information is needed to use the calculator – all that is required is to tap in the amount of BPS a claimant received for 2020, or make any adjustments to reflect land changes for this year’s claim, for it to produce a schedule of progressive reductions in future years for that size of 2020 payment.
For example, a £30,000 payment in 2020 will be subject to a 5% reduction in 2021, then a 25% cut in 2022, followed by 30% and 50% cuts in the next two years, reducing the payment to £15,000 in 2024.
A £500,000 payment for 2020 attracts the highest rate of deduction at 70% for the tranche above £150,000 in 2024, cutting it to £164,000 in that year.
The government has committed to maintain support to the farming sector at current levels in every year of the current Parliament, though the way it is distributed will change.
Funds saved by the BPS cuts will be redirected straight back into Countryside Stewardship and new schemes, it said.