Call for Support for Common Land Farmers

08 December 2015

The CLA is calling on the Government to support hard-pressed common land farmers by freeing up much needed support payments.

Although the majority of farmers will receive their Basic Payment Scheme payments this month (December), farmers who graze common land are unlikely to receive their support payments until February at the earliest.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has written to affected farmers advising them that their entire payment will be delayed due to difficulties calculating the common land element of their claim.

The CLA is calling on the Government to pay hill farmers and other common land claimants part of their claim, as soon as possible.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “The Government has been made well aware of the difficulties facing farmers at this time, with pressure on milk prices, lamb prices and other commodities. It is important that Government does whatever it can to help at this time.

“Common land farmers have been told that their claims are too complex to be paid at the same time as other claimants. We are calling on the RPA not to hold up the parts of a claim that can be calculated simply, such as the home farm. They should get on and pay these even if there is a delay in paying the more complex elements of the claim.

“Even if they do not receive their full support payment, a home farm payment will go a long way towards helping these farmers through what will undoubtedly be a very difficult Christmas and New Year.”