Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. However, single farmers details of implementation and grants vary from country to country within the outline rules. Transitional rules also apply for new member states which joined the EU in 2004 and more recently.
The UK Government decided to be one of the first countries in Europe to introduce the Single Payment Scheme and decided to start to phase it in from 2005. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to independently implement the scheme. The new scheme was intended to change the way the EU supported its farm sector by removing the link between subsidies and production of specific crops. This reform focused on consumers and taxpayers, while giving farmers the freedom to produce what the market wanted. Member States have the choice to maintain a limited link between subsidy and production to avoid abandonment of particular production.
Current payments to farmers continue to reflect historic patterns of production for different crops in countries where the scheme has yet to be introduced, or as a proportion of the total payment where the scheme is being introduced over a period of years. The Single Farm Payment is linked to meeting environmental, public, animal and plant health and animal welfare standards and the need to keep land in good agricultural and environmental condition. EU was unfairly subsidising farmers and providing an unfair competitive advantage. Under the SPS the farmer is no longer paid different amounts according to the crop he produces, but a set amount per hectare of agricultural land maintained in cultivatable condition. The intention is that choice of crop is based purely on market driven forces and not on production based grants. WTO negotiations, ensuring the legality and compliance of international obligations.
However, the requirement for set aside was suspended for one year in Autumn 2007 following sharp increases in prices for certain crops, and in consideration of the aim to grow more crops for biofuel production. Another stated goal at the outset was to simplify the existing process including applications. Eleven existing schemes were replaced by the SPS. Difficulties in implementation included double the number of expected claimants, as rules of the new scheme allowed many more people with relatively small areas of land to claim.
In February 2008 RPA began accepting electronic applications via third party software. The first application was submitted 27 February 2008 through Single Payment Supervisor by Paul Holliday Software. Following the success of the project to accept electronic applications via third party software RPA took the next logical step and in March 2010 began allowing submissions directly through their own Whole Farm Approach website. There is speculation within the agricultural industry that paper forms will be withdrawn in an attempt to reduce costs. Initially the payments had a bias towards paying producers who historically received the highest subsidies. The payment bias works on a sliding scale with a move away from historic payments towards land based payments with payments in 2012 having no historic element. Implementation of the Single Payment Scheme in Wales was the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Welsh farmers on the first possible day, which made them amongst the first in Europe to receive the new payment. The farmer’s declaration of his payment entitlements for activation is the farmer’s request for a ‘Single Payment’. Political agreement on CAP reform was reached in 2013. This page was last edited on 15 February 2018, at 21:05.