The Young Farmer Payment (YFP) was introduced in 2015 as a top-up payment to the Basic Payment Scheme. The scheme was available for a maximum of five years from 2015 (therefore four years still remain) and could be worth in the region of £4,000 per annum, depending on the number of eligible hectares.
To qualify for the YFP, young farmers need to show that they:
- are between the ages of 18 and 40 when making their first claim.
- are in control of the farming business.
- took control for the first time on or after 1 January 2011.
The farmer(s) ‘in control’ of an agricultural business are the ‘head of holding’ and must exercise effective and long term control over the business in terms of decisions related to management, benefits and financial risks.
DARD guidance states that a profit share (in a partnership) or shareholding (in a company) greater than 50% would normally indicate head of holding status. However where a business does not meet this requirement it may be possible for the partners/shareholders to agree to a provision passing long term control of the business to the young farmer and confirming that they can make decisions without veto by the other partners. The partners/shareholders could also agree to vote together to create a majority vote.
Last year we assisted several of our farming clients in successfully applying for this additional entitlement. If you think you may qualify and would like to discuss the matter further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Agricultural team.
Act now however as the deadline for submission of the 2016 BPS forms is fast approaching.