Call for early access to Basic Payments Scheme
Welsh Conservatives have called for early access to the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) in Wales – and an end to Labour refusals and confusion.
With the farming industry facing significant challenges, every possible level of support is a necessity from Welsh government and the Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has questioned Labour ministers on early BPS access.
In a written response, Labour’s junior rural affairs minister ruled out any possibility of paying Welsh farmers as quickly as possible – despite acknowledging it was a viable option:
The European Regulations governing BPS set the payment window as 1st December to 30th June. Advance payments of up to 50% of a claim may be made from 16th October. However, Rural Payments Wales is unable to process the required number of Single Application Forms to utilise this provision. (Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister, August 18th)
In the Senedd, Deputy Leader and Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies posed the same question to Labour’s Finance Minister, who appeared to contradict her colleague:
“….Early access is what we’re seeking”.
(Welsh Assembly Record of Proceedings, 15th September, ‘Business Statement and Announcement’http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/Pages/Plenary.aspx?assembly=4&category=Record%20of%20Proceedings)