Agriculture Bill 2nd Reading: Detail needed now on longer-term funding, says CLA

04 October 2018

Farm scene

MPs will have their first opportunity to debate the main principles of the Agriculture Bill at the Bill’s Second Reading in the House of Commons on 10 October.

The CLA is calling on MPs to ensure that four crucial elements are at the forefront of discussions:

 

  • Certainty on Government funding plans for the industry post-2022
  • Proper reward for delivery of a broad-based public goods scheme to encourage landowners’ engagement
  • Avoiding cliff edges for farm businesses through carefully managed reductions in acreage-based payments after the first year of transition, with the strict proviso replacement schemes are in place
  • Much greater detail of the Government’s plans to help improve and support farm productivity and agriculture

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The direction set for the Agriculture Bill by Government in September gives a glimpse of the future and it is encouraging the industry has been listened to, but it is still relatively superficial. Now landowners, farmers and rural businesses need to know the detail that lies beneath the rhetoric.

“For farms and other businesses to develop meaningful plans for the future, we need to have much more clarity on how the new policies will work in practice.

“Top of the list is clarity on funding post-2022. We share the Government’s ambition for enhancing the environment alongside quality food production, but this can only be delivered by a secure and profitable farming industry. Introducing a commitment for a sufficient long-term budget into the Bill, and confirming sufficient payment rates that recognise the industry’s high welfare and environmental standards, would provide farmers and landowners with confidence that engaging in the new payment for public goods scheme is a sensible business plan.”

 

Click here to the read the CLA’s MP briefing.