The person named has been an applicant under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) from 2015 to 2019.
Applicants under the BPS were allocated payment entitlements in 2015. These are paid annually on the basis that a BPS application is submitted and the applicant declares an eligible hectare of agricultural land per entitlement.
The Terms and Conditions booklet for the BPS is circulated annually to all farmers. In this booklet, the requirements in relation to usage of BPS entitlements are outlined. Under these requirements, all BPS entitlements allocated are subject to a two-year usage rule. In effect, should a farmer have unused entitlements for two consecutive years, the entitlements will be reverted to the National Reserve in the second year of non-usage.
A farmer’s usage position is available for them to view at any time on the online system where it clearly states the number of available entitlements and the number which have been used in each year.
For scheme year 2018, the person named held 23 entitlements and submitted a BPS application on 6 April 2018 declaring 12.39 hectares of eligible land. In scheme year 2019, the person named submitted a BPS application on 19 April 2019 again only declaring 12.39 hectares of eligible land. As he did not declare sufficient lands, over a two-year period to support all 23 entitlements held, the unused entitlements have been reverted to the National Reserve.
It is noted that under the 2018 BPS application, the person named deleted a parcel of land from his application amounting to 10.48 hectares of land and did not declare this land on his 2019 BPS application either.
The Deputy has mentioned that the entitlements were unused in error as the person named was recently suffering from ill health. Officials from my Department will contact the person named in this regard.