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Bill introduced to replace current subsidy system of Direct Payments

Subject: Farming and agriculture

Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Agriculture Bill has been introduced to Parliament. The Government intends that the proposed legislation will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments which pays farmers for the total amount of land farmed, skewing payments towards the largest landowners rather than those farmers delivering specific public benefits.

Direct Payments will be phased out over an agricultural transition period, which is due to start in 2021 and run for seven years. Later in the agricultural transition, the Government plans to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the current requirement to farm the land under EU law. 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.

The Government has already announced that the funding available for Direct Payments for 2020 will be the same as for 2019, and the Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill has been introduced to Parliament to enable us to make Direct Payments to farmers for the 2020 scheme year– giving much-welcomed certainty to our farmers and food producers.


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