- The effect of rebalancing entitlement payments between the Lowland, Severely Disadvantaged and Moorland areas
- The change in the number of entitlements claimed compared to the previous Single Payment Scheme due to the introduction of a minimum claim size and other new rules
- The deductions which will be made to fund the National Reserve and the Young Farmer Payment
- The annual change to the Basic Payment Scheme National Ceiling (budget)
- The rate of “Financial Discipline” (basically budget cuts) which may be imposed by Europe
Then there is the question as to when the new payments will be made. Under the old scheme, in recent years most payments were made shortly after the payment window opened in December, and the RPA continues to sound confident about “making the majority of payments in December and the vast majority before the end of January”.
However, many commentators are pessimistic that the RPA will achieve these timescales and are suggesting farmers should not budget to receive payments until February or March next year. This will obviously put many, already cash-strapped farmers, under even more unwanted financial pressure in 2016.