Most Northern Ireland farmers to receive Government subsidy six weeks early

Most farmers in Northern Ireland will receive their government subsidy early Credit: ITV

Most farmers in Northern Ireland have been issues their direct payment from the Basic Payment Scheme six weeks earlier than planned.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said this was to help with the cost of living crisis, with rising energy costs and a grain shortage caused by the warn in Ukraine putting farmers under increasing pressure.

£286.9million was issued to 23,208 farmers on Thursday (1 September), equating to 97% of applicants.

Direct payments are annual government subsidies paid to farmers to support the local agricultural industry and to help protect food supplies. The scheme is a replacement for the Single Farm Payments that were issued when the UK was part of the EU.

“The ongoing disruption to agricultural markets, in particular due to the situation in Ukraine, is having a huge impact on farm businesses in Northern Ireland,” Mr Poots said.

“To help them with cash flow, annual payments have commenced six weeks earlier than previous years. I am pleased to confirm that £286.9million has issued to 23,208 farmers on 1 September. This is only possible because we have left the European Union and can now make decisions to suit local needs.

“I am also pleased to announce that there has again been a one-off increase in Basic Payment Scheme payments, to ensure that all funding ring-fenced for this purpose is used. The increase in 2022 will be 2.04%."

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