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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Scotland’s Farmers Receive Most Generous Support in The UK

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The SNP has said it is the only party standing up for farmers, slamming the UK and Welsh governments’ new support schemes after Brexit for “falling far short of what was promised” ahead of the National Farmers Union Scotland’s Conference in Glasgow.
 
According to the National Farmers Union, Brexit has seen support for English upland farmers fall by as much as 37%.

The UK government’s replacement for the EU’s Basic Payment Scheme – the Environmental Land Management Schemes – also imposes significant restrictions on farms, should they choose to participate.
 
Independent agronomists are warning of the “unforeseen consequences” of this, from loss of food production as land is transformed to meet the requirements of ELMs to financial loss, with farmers saying it’s “more like a game of roulette than a viable source of farm income.”
 
The situation in Wales is similar: some farmers have seen their income reduced by 37% – rising to 45% in Severely Disadvantaged Areas. 

The Welsh government is to introduce a Sustainable Farming Scheme which will provide a Universal Baseline Payment.
 
However, the Labour administration’s own analysis shows this could result in the loss of 5,500 jobs and an 11% drop in livestock numbers.

This could entail a £125.3m hit to output from the sector, and an 85% reduction in farm business income.

Farmers and Unions have described the outlook as “bleak,” representing a “shocking scenario” with “damaging consequences” for Welsh farming. 
 
Commenting, SNP MSP Emma Harper said:
 
“Everything the SNP warned would happen after Brexit, is now transpiring for farmers across the UK who have been repeatedly let down, with broken Brexit promises putting their future at risk and their concerns being ignored by Westminster.
 
“Labour in Wales and the Tories in England have utterly failed to deliver for farmers, and while both parties are in lock-step in their support for Brexit, the real-life consequences of this are being felt on farms.
 
“The replacement support schemes for English and Welsh farmers are falling far short of what was promised, making it clear as day that both Westminster parties are completely ignorant of the damage they have inflicted on this industry.
 
“The SNP Scottish Government, on the other hand, has provided the most generous package of direct support for farmers and crofters in the UK, working towards providing £46 million in ring-fenced funding – with £15 million already returned.
 
“An independent Scotland, in the EU, would see a return of pre-Brexit levels of funding, better supporting our farmers and economy.

“In the meantime, the SNP in government will continue to support our farmers and mitigate the detrimental impacts of Westminster rule.”
 

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