Sustain has responded to the lump sum exit scheme and delinking payments consultation in partnership with the Landworkers’ Alliance. This joint response is also endorsed by some of Sustain’s and the Landworkers’ Alliance’s members, as well as individuals who work in the farming sector or have a keen interest in farming.
Key points we have raised:
- The lump sum exit scheme must be available to all farmers and not just those who have claimed Basic Payment; that is, it must also be made available to small-scale farmers.
- That most of the land made available through the lump sum scheme should be channelled towards helping new entrants gain access to land. A clear policy mechanism is needed to achieve this as new entrants cannot be expected to compete with large investment firms that have much greater capital, and who are already buying UK farms and land for a number of reasons.
- All commercial property and at least one private property must be kept with the land to make a viable business possible for new entrants.
- We fundamentally disagree with the ‘gifting’ mechanism as this could be a way for farmers to keep land within their family, rather than rent or sell to new entrants or other farm businesses.
- That Defra ensures all land that comes available through the lump sum scheme, or is put into the delinking scheme, is required to comply with environmental regulations and that any potential loopholes are closed.
- We understand the need to cap payments to ensure that large, wealthy landowners cannot use the lump sum scheme as a cash-in opportunity. However, the average (£45k) is not enough for many farmers to retire on (especially tenants who will need to buy or rent a new property). Defra need to do analysis to understand how the scheme can be effective in helping farmers out of the sector, rather than exacerbate the already existing issue of farmers falling into relative poverty.
Delinking and Lump Sum Consultation Submission
7pp - 2021 | 113Kb
Published 11 Aug 2021
Sustainable farming policy: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.