The Government has announced it is to simplify the way penalties are calculated for small over-claims of land as part of measures to make the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) less complicated in 2020.
Farmers will benefit from simpler and more proportionate penalties after measures were introduced in March to reduce the paperwork required from young farmers. Changes to the way these penalties are calculated will mean farmers will feel the benefit in December when payments are made.
If the over-claim is more than 2 hectares or 3 per cent, but not more than 10 per cent, of the area, determined, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will apply a penalty. The penalty will be 0.75 times the size of the over-claim. As in previous years, for over-claims of more than 10 per cent of the area determined, the penalty will be 1.5 times the size of the over-claim. However, there will be no penalty for an over-claim of no more than 2 hectares or 3 per cent of the area determined.
As a spokesman for the RPA commented, the body wants to continue to improve the delivery of such schemes to farmers. His words were echoed by Farming Minister, Victoria Prentis, who said that the Government will continue to work hard to make claims as straightforward as possible to ensure that farmers do not get hit with penalties for small over-claims.
As the Government announced in March, the exchange rate to be used for BPS 2020 payments is €1 = 0.89092. This is the same as last year so that farmers will see no material difference in their BPS payments.