The Government introduced the Agriculture Bill into Parliament this week: Agriculture Bill announcement 16th Jan 20
The main focus of the Bill is the same as when originally published in September 2018, ie that Direct Payments will be phased out over a transition period, which is due to start in 2021 and run for seven years. The Basic Payment Scheme and existing Stewardship payments will be replaced by a new Environment Land Management Scheme based on paying for public goods which has now been expanded to include soil health.
The announcement also states that: “Later in the agricultural transition, the government plans to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the requirement to farm the land….this will give farmers greater flexibility to plan for their future as these payments will be able to be used by farmers to invest in their business, diversify their activities or help new people enter the sector.”
Further details about the announcement and a briefing about the Agriculture Bill are available from the office.