The Welsh Liberal Democrats have expressed deep concern over the news farm funding in England will be cut by up to 25% next year, with the decision having significant implications for the future of farm funding in Wales.
DEFRA have confirmed that farm payments in England will be reduced by 5-25% next year, depending on the band of direct payments.
In December 2019 the UK Government confirmed funding for the Basic Payments Scheme in Wales would remain the same for 2020. This announcement suggests this funding will be reduced for Wales from 2021 onwards.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:
Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have been promising since 2016 that farmers would not be worse off because of Brexit. Today’s announcement shows just how hollow those promises were.
I’m deeply concerned that UK Government funding for farming in Wales could also be cut next year. This would undermine all the Welsh Government’s work to provide financial certainty for our farmers, who already face more challenging conditions than their colleagues across the UK.
During last year’s general election campaign Michael Gove personally promised Scottish Farmers the Conservatives would protect farm funding for the lifetime of this Parliament. I trust Mr Gove won’t break his promise to Scottish farmers and that Welsh farmers will enjoy the same guarantee.
The UK Government must urgently give clarity on the future funding for farming in Wales and Conservative MPs from rural seats should stand up for this funding. Failure to do so will show they care more about toeing their party’s line than actually standing up for the communities they claim to represent.