McGlone: Farmers need clarity on future funding

SDLP Rural Communities spokesperson Patsy McGlone has said farmers need clarity around future funding.

Mr McGlone welcomed confirmation from DAERA Minister Edwin Poots that the Basic Payment Scheme would be replaced by a Farm Sustainability Payment. Minister Poots said other support schemes would be introduced, with funding guaranteed for three years to 2024/25.

Mr McGlone said:“News that a replacement for the Basic Payment Scheme has been confirmed, with funding in place for the next three financial years will be welcome news to farmers who rely on this funding to help them carry out their work, while also implementing measures that are good for the environment.

“Despite the positives, I know many farmers will be keen to learn further details of additional support schemes to be introduced, particularly those specified to “better meet local needs” and to help a variety of farms develop their businesses. Any additional scheme will be welcome, but we need clarity so that farmers can plan both for the immediate future and the long-term.

“It’s also important that the Farm Sustainability Payment continues to operate beyond the next three years. The Basic Payment Scheme provided hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to farms across the North who would simply be unable to operate without it and we need assurances from both DAERA and the British government that these farmers will not face a cliff-edge when this three year period ends.”