This petition was submitted by Farmers for Regional Payments, having collected 139 signatures.
Text of the Petition
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to reconsider its decision to implement a flat-rate model for payment of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) subsidy to Welsh Farmers. The BPS is a European Union grant designed to help the farming industry. Farmers can apply for the grant once a year - normally in May - and payments begin in December. In July 2015, the Welsh Government made the decision to move to a flat-rate payment per hectare for all Welsh farmers under the BPS. As a result of this decision, it is estimated that 1,323 farms will lose more than €2,500, many of which will see their payments reducing by around 40-60% over a five year period. Lost payments will amount to up to €100,000 per farm, per year from now until 2019. The flat-rate payment model for all Welsh farmers will lead to unemployment and business failure. It will also have damaging effects on the environment and the quality and quantity of Welsh food production, owing to the fact that productive farms will be worst affected. There are substantial differences in the productivity of farmland in Wales. Therefore, regional application of the BPS is imperative. The decision will also disadvantage productive farmers in Wales against equivalent farmers in other countries, with English farmers, for example, receiving BPS payments on a regional basis. It is clearly in the best interests of the farming and wider Welsh community to ensure that there is a fairer payment scheme in place.
First published: 07/07/2016