NSA welcomes consultation on BPS Lump Sum Exit scheme and the potential for new opportunities it can create

21st May 2021

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is welcoming the announcement this week of the consultation on the proposed Lump Sum and Exit Scheme and the delinking of payments. NSA sees this as a further step towards developing clarity over the new Future Farming schemes and what will replace the BPS as it is phased out. Working with its own NSA English Committee the association will discuss the implications of the proposals and formulate a full response in due course.
NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments “While this consultation frames some of Defra’s thinking we will still have to wait until October for final details and the clock is ticking fast in terms of the reductions in BPS and the development of new Future Farming Schemes. At this stage, NSA’s thinking is that we welcome support to help those who want to retire to do so with dignity, more so than we want to see farmers encouraged to exit.”
Much of today’s farming in the UK has been shaped by past government regulation and common agricultural policy - with a creative approach in terms of development and implementation, much can be done in this scheme to support future prospects, NSA, therefore, welcomes the potential for increased opportunities for new entrants and the removal of entitlements that have presented a barrier to many. 
There will be a lot of devil in the detail of this consultation, and NSA would not want to see a new career made from devising ways to take benefit from the scheme without meaningful change on the ground.