Farming,wildlife, rural businesses and the wider economy in England are set to benefitfrom 15 billion from the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Of this over3 billion will be spent on improving the environment.
Today(19-12-13), Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has announced that the amountof funding transferred from farmers direct payments to the budget forenvironmental and rural growth schemes will be increased from 9% to 12%.
Thedemand for environmental schemes and the competiveness of English agriculturewill be reviewed in 2016, with the intention of moving to a 15% transfer in thefinal two years of the CAP period.
Secretaryof State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, said: Englands 15 billionCommon Agricultural Policy must deliver real benefits to farming, ruralbusinesses, the countryside and the taxpayer.
Todaysdecision will see 3.5 billion invested in the environment and ruraldevelopment schemes over the next seven years.
Thisis a significant change in the way we allocate CAP money and even with asmaller overall CAP budget, the Government will be spending a bigger share ofthe budget on the environment than before.
Duringthe EU negotiations, the UK pressed for every country to have the freedom tomake choices about how it spends its funding. One of these choices is theoption to transfer a proportion of the budget for farmers direct payments intothe rural development budget. As a result of this transfer, environmentalschemes will get a higher proportion of the CAP budget than they do now, whileensuring that English farming remains competitive.
Englandshill farmers will also be helped by todays announcement. For the firsttime ever, they will receive the same direct payment rate on their uplandfarmland as their lowland counterparts. This will support farmers workingin some of the toughest conditions and least-productive land, who manage someof our most beautiful countryside and provide habitats for wildlife. This helpsto sustain our 33 billion a year tourism industry.
Thework of farmers and landowners through environmental stewardship programmes hasalready created lasting habitats for rare birds and pollinators boosting ruraltourism by improving the natural environment.
Ruralbusiness schemes have already successfully transformed the prospects ofthousands of businesses and farms, created 8,500 rural jobs across the country,safeguarding another 9,700.
Withina smaller overall CAP budget these decisions will help to grow the ruraleconomy and improve the environment.