NFU Cymru has today expressed relief that the UK Government has committed to securing the Welsh farming budget for the years 2020-2022.
This announcement comes as part of the UK Government’s response to the Lord Bew Review into the allocations of CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) convergence funding across the UK. NFU Cymru is however concerned about the impact that a significant additional cash boost to the Scottish farming budget will have on the competitiveness of farmers in the rest of the UK.
Earlier this week the UK Government pledged a one off payment of £160 million to Scottish farmers, along with an announcement today of an additional £51.4 million per year for the next two years. Wales will see an increase of £5.2 million per year for the next two years, with the budgets in England and Northern Ireland remaining unchanged. The UK Government has said in its response that the farm support budget is fixed until the end of this parliament.
NFU Cymru President, John Davies said: “At a time of unprecedented uncertainty for Welsh farming, the news that, for the time being, the Welsh farming budget is safeguarded is to be welcomed. However, we must not forget that with UK politics in such a precarious position, the long term security of budgets that Welsh agriculture requires to help build a farming policy that meets our ambition for growth, is lacking.
“Just after the referendum NFU Cymru set out a number of key principles for a post-Brexit farming policy, and one of those principles centred around ensuring that Welsh farming remains competitive with the rest of the UK, EU and globally. Today’s announcement, which will see Scottish agriculture get a significant injection of additional money, has the potential to create distortion in the UK market place.”
John Davies concluded: “NFU Cymru will now seek to meet with Welsh Government at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the additional support pledged under the Lord Bew Review is targeted at active family farming businesses.”