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Drakeford comments that he had to justify farming spend in Cardiff ‘astonishing’ says Conservative Senedd Member

22 Jul 2022 4 minute read
Left, Samuel Kurtz. Right, Mark Drakeford.

A Conservative Senedd member has branded as “astonishing” comments made by the First Minister at the Royal Welsh in which he said he would have to justify spending money on farmers to people in Cardiff.

Mark Drakeford said farmers had to “do things that taxpayers are willing to invest in” and that he would have to justify any spend to “Bangladeshi taxi drivers” in Cardiff.

“If you wish to take advantage of that money, if you want to have help from the Welsh taxpayer, then you will have to find a way of bringing yourself within the scheme that allows me, as the First Minister, to justify to Bangladeshi taxi drivers in Riverside, where I live, why they should pay their taxes in order to support farmers in Wales,” he told the BBC.

Welsh Conservative and Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Samuel Kurtz MS said he found it “astonishing” that the First Minister had appeared at the Royal Welsh show “to demonstrate a level of disregard for our farming industry”.

“Not only is agriculture a pillar of the Welsh economy, it is the lifeblood of communities up and down the country, playing a central role in our culture and preserving the Welsh language,” he said.

“Welsh farmers contribute significantly to Wales’ economy, as the bedrock of our £7 billion food and drink industry as primary producers, and as the cornerstone of the wider rural economy.

“So, when Mark Drakeford said farmers should do something that taxpayers are willing to invest in, I would simply say that without them, our food and drink industry and rural economy would suffer immense damage.

“I have long said farming needs a friend, and it seems Labour are making it very clear it does not want to be that friend. The Welsh Conservatives will always stand by the farmers of Wales.”

‘Food security’

Responding to comments by First Minister Mark Drakeford on Welsh agriculture this morning, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said they were “disrespectful to the farming community”.

She added that they “show a lack of understanding from Welsh Labour of both rural communities and the work farmers do to put food on our plates”.

“Food security is vital to Wales, especially given the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising food poverty in Wales,” she said.

“Farming is also vital to the Welsh economy, supporting a whole chain of other businesses in the rural economy in particular.”

Meanwhile, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for food production to remain at the front and centre of the Welsh Government’s upcoming agriculture bill in order to ensure that the Welsh agricultural industry and the rural communities it supports continue to thrive.

“The challenges faced by the Welsh agricultural sector are huge, but with the upcoming agricultural bill, we have a real opportunity to create a plan in Wales that deliver for Wales,” Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds said.

“Welsh farmers understand the threat of climate change with extreme weather like we have experienced in the last week posing a direct threat to their way of life and there isn’t many farmers I have met who don’t understand the need to adapt to combat this threat.

“However it is vitally important that we don’t also loose track of the main purpose of agriculture, which is to produce food for our nation and beyond.

“Recently the crisis in Ukraine has proven the importance of food security worldwide and here in the UK, the cost-of-living crisis and rising food poverty highlight the importance of domestic food production even more.

“Welsh Labour must understand the importance of food production and security and include this within the upcoming agriculture bill.”


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The original mark
The original mark
25 days ago

Despite the irreparable damage the tories have done to Welsh farming, this will hit home and stop any wavering votes drifting away from the tories, all they have to do now is make the right noises in the Senedd and they will secure their votes, drakeford has disappointingly shot himself in the foot with this comment.

hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago

Gauche indeed. All he had to say was that investment/grants need to be justified to the electorate or tax paying public or whomever he feels answerable. Shame he didn’t adopt a similar posture when some of his government’s other “investments” have been called into question. It is particularly relevant when one considers the issue of food miles. There is scope for increasing the share of the home market being produced within Wales or the adjacent parts of the UK and focussing farming attention onto its productivity is far more beneficial than driving them to large scale tree planting. Worse still… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
25 days ago

Tactless remark by the FM, unless I’m missing something. If not, then he’s given the Welsh Tories an open goal. Get a grip, Mark!

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
25 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Before the Tories blast through that open goal they have to honour their written manifesto promise to Welsh farmers of “not a penny less”.

Gareth Parry
Gareth Parry
25 days ago

A different face revealed in Mark Drakeford’s comments here, the specific mention of taxi drivers ethnic origins serves to show that Welsh Labour still have a problem with non white welsh people. Seems Labour still cannot get it’s house in order.shameful

Dail y Goeden
Dail y Goeden
25 days ago

Listen to what Mark Drakeford actually said! Without consensus, we have… dissent. It is a pity that Mr Kurtz, at least in what he is quoted as saying, seems to be aiming for dissent. As I understand Mr Drakeford, he went to the Show, and he talked with farmers’ leaders, and he explained to them some of the challenges that need facing as we (the people of Wales, and our government) try to work out – and to obtain agreement upon – stable financial plans for public subsidy. This is the business of good government: consensus and mutual understanding. If… Read more »

Glen
Glen
25 days ago

Perhaps Bangladeshi taxi drivers don’t eat like the rest of us and have no need for food.

Confirmation if you needed it that the Left hate the countryside and hate the people that live there.

Gareth
Gareth
25 days ago
Reply to  Glen

And the right love farming so much, they have signed deals with Aus/ NZ, that have farmers and their unions claiming they could put our farmers out of business within a few years, pig farmers slaughtering stock they cant butcher,and going bust,with friends like that they can give up now.

Gareth
Gareth
25 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

And as the pigs were being slaughtered, Boris Johnson laughed and said, ” they were going to die anyway”, Showing a real Tory right wing empathy for farming.

Carol James
Carol James
25 days ago

This is all part of Labour’s onslaught against the rural community. Sad to see!

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
25 days ago
Reply to  Carol James

It is a pity MD named Bangladeshi Taxi Drivers as such. He might have been more sensible to point out that there is still a large chunk of folk around who blame the farming community for voting for Brexit (I know the stats on that and it is not quite a truthful belief), so sympathy for them is not always as strong as it might be. I don’t think it is a case that the Left hate the countryside. More of a problem may be that there are many very big landowners who are Tory supporters who hate the city… Read more »

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

You’re right that most large estate/landowners will be tory supporters, but wrong to suggest they don’t like the city, it’s where most of them make their money, some even make money milking the city dweller directly, on corporate days out.

arthur owen
25 days ago

Mark is being pretty cunning here,he is giving his opponents every opportunity to put a racist foot in the muck.

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
23 days ago
Reply to  arthur owen

Yes, that is exactly what I thought. What we need now is for Plaid Cymru to step in on behalf of Welsh farmers, and return serve the reference to ‘Bangladeshi taxi drivers’. For those who are unaware of it, Drakeford’s reference to the immigrant Muslim community is rooted in the popular prejudice in Cardiff, and probably other such areas) that the Muslim/Asian community ‘doesn’t properly pay its taxes’. Whether that’s shop owners who continuously open new stores under new names, whilst running away from their debts, and taxi drivers and other who supposedly do things cash in hand and don’t… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
25 days ago

We have our own Biden…what happened to the Somali taxi drivers…I’m beginning to understand just how far apart the Senedd has become from the rest of us…we need to refresh the ‘page’, they have lost the plot down there…a city state mentality…

Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
23 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Too true.

Its ‘Llundain Bach’ as the saying goes, though usually in reference to Cardiff Bay in particular.

Erisian
Erisian
25 days ago

If Tacsi drivers were getting subsidies, I’m sure the Farmers would appreciate an explanation.

Y. Cymro
Y. Cymro
24 days ago

this is the problem with the senedd. it doesn’t care about north walians. it doesn’t care about farmers.

Gaynor
Gaynor
24 days ago

Grass and slurry is not going to feed us Sam. We need more food grown , more agro forestry, more trees and better conservation and less environmental damage. What we don’t need are stupid politicians spending 4 mil on a hobby farm for a hipster; millions investment in hydro, alt community energy projects, no grant money for city capitalist to plant trees and carbon capture,; or tax evading shysters who pretend they have business credentials. And farmers to realise that they have to change or die out and think of how they pass onthe legacy to younger people with new… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
24 days ago
Reply to  Gaynor

Amen to that Gaynor…

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