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Prime Minister slams new Welsh Government farming subsidy scheme

21 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – Daniel Leal/PA Wire

The Welsh Government’s new farming subsidy scheme will “decimate farming communities in Wales”, Rishi Sunak has warned.

At PMQS on Wednesday (February 21), Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie said: “Does the Prime Minister agree with me and Welsh farmers like Gareth Wyn Jones that our farmers and food security are vital and that the agricultural budget should be ringfenced?

“Unlike the Welsh Labour government propped up by Plaid, which is determined to force our farmers out of business with its approach to nitrate vulnerable zones, TB (tuberculosis) and its new Sustainable Farming Scheme, which using Welsh Government’s own analysis is forecast to result in 5,500 job losses and a £200 million hit to the Welsh economy.”

The Prime Minister replied: “On this side of the House we are supporting farmers with more money to grow more British food, in contrast to the plans that she highlighted which would decimate farming communities in Wales.

“It is the opposite of what is needed. While we will always back our rural communities across the UK, it is Labour that would take them back to square one.”

Reforms

The Welsh Government has come increasingly under fire this week over its planned reforms to farming subsidies in Wales.

A consultation is currently underway on the new Sustainable Farming Scheme which will take the place of the Common Agricultural Policy.

It will use public money to help farmers in Wales produce food sustainably, tackle the climate and nature emergencies and restore ecosystems.

The scheme will require farmers to commit to planting 10% of their land with trees and reserve another 10% as wildlife habitat to access the grant.

Farmers say this would never be practical whilst running a farm business.

The Welsh Government says the SFS will ensure safe food production systems, protect the environment and address the climate crisis.

In the Senedd on Tuesday, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford said farmers in Wales would be in a different position if they hadn’t voted for Brexit.

However, there is no evidence that farmers in Wales voted to leave the EU on a greater scale than other sector groups in Wales.

Deline

According to modelling on the potential economic effects of the SFS published alongside the consultation ,there could be a reduction in farm business income of up to £199 million, a reduction in farm output of £125 million and 122,000 fewer livestock units.

In addition an 11% decline in on-farm labour requirements have been projected.


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Paddy
Paddy
4 months ago

“Decimating communities is my job”, said the Prime Minister.

Llyn
Llyn
4 months ago

There’s not much difference between the proposed new farming schemes in Wales and England.

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Exactly, but the lying little toerag thinks he can get away with stuff like that because it’s all we’ve come to expect of him. Turning the food supply to lower income groups over to drug infested meats with 1,000’s of air/sea miles and fruits and veg covered in all sorts of pesticides is O.K with Sunak’s type because they source the best and safest for themselves. Elitism at its worst.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago

Sunak & Crosbie – a double act to forget. I appreciate the Welsh governments’ subsidy scheme seems to carry a lot of conditions but at least it has been set out clearly to be debated. Contrast this with the usual ‘we’ve thrown more (mythical) money at it’ li(n)e constantly trotted out by the Tories when the proof on the ground is they haven’t. Decimating farming in Wales and the whole UK comes in the form of the Australia giveaway undercutting arrangement pushed through at any cost just to achieve a post Break-it deal on paper simply to prove we are… Read more »

Karl
Karl
4 months ago

Must be great if the prat on a private plan dislikes. Limited money due to defunding, means different approach. Tories hate us, hate life in general, time they butted out of our country.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago

Drakeford is right, would Welsh farmers need Welsh government help if we were still in the EU? But why were they being helped by the EU at that time? Lack of help and the wrong farming policies by Westminster governments for years and years and well before the Senedd was even created. Sunak needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask himself why these farmers need help at all !!

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

The UK has never served Wales well.

Like all countries that were part of the British empire are now doing much better now they are independent nations.

Where the Welsh Labour has failed is that it had no intention of preparing for an independent Wales.
This is why all people that care about our country should vote for Plaid Cymru to take our country towards independence.

The Welsh people should have control of all our resources in Wales including our shores to benefit from offshore Wind turbine farms (At present, all incomes go to the UK crown estates).

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago

Why, because Infosys or not involved?

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
4 months ago

Most farmers are Tory and voted for Brexit you could say for the farmers it was SELF INFLICTED

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
4 months ago

Farmers just want to go back to the good old days of subsidy farming – taking public money and giving nothing in return.

Welsh farmers will never vote Labour anyway, they are all die-hard tories so Labour have got nothing to lose by simply ignoring their petulant demands.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

The Welsh Government’s new farming subsidy scheme will “decimate farming communities in Wales”, says the Prime Mini-ster .

Is this the same Rishy Sunak post-Brexit who signed a trade deal with Australia & New Zealand to sell their Lamb & beef products flooding the market with cheaper meat putting those very same Welsh farmers at a disadvantage. The irony. It’s like Saudi Arabia buying sand from Egypt.

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