Plaid Cymru has described the figures showing that income from farming has fallen by 30% over the last two years as proof the Welsh Government has made a fundamental error in syphoning the maximum 15% out of direct payments to farmers in Wales.
The party’s Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy and Food Llyr Gruffydd warned that the significant drop in income should cause huge concern particularly as the figures don’t include the impact of the late snowfall last spring which has added even more pressure on farm incomes.
The Party of Wales Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy and Food Llyr Gruffydd said:
“These figures should be a wake up call for the Welsh Government who must now accept that a further self-inflicted cut of 15% to single farm payments is a step too far. The Minister can tell us that some of that money will find its way back into the pockets of farmers but today’s figures show that many farm businesses will simply not be able to take the additional hit.
“Welsh farmers are much more dependent on EU funding than other UK nations, which means that taking hundreds of thousands of pounds out of their businesses will have serious repercussions for their viabilitty and competitiveness. Talk of some possible support in the future is not enough. There are too many unanswered questions for Welsh farm businesses to be able to plan for the future. Our industry deserves more clarity and certainty from Government and the Minister must do much more to support Welsh farmers in the here and now.”
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans said:
“Our farmers are at a constant disadvantage in Europe, with successive UK governments wanting to scrap farm payments. Labour have proved they will not support our agricultural and food sector and rural communities. Wales has some of the best produce in Europe and we need a Welsh Government that will promote that internationally, working with our farmers.”
Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd said :
“The Minister in the Senedd talks about using Pillar 2 to try and compensate Welsh farmers for losses during the rough winter weather but the details are unclear at present.
“These figures show that there is every reason to act urgently to help farmers in the less favoured areas (LFA) because they are always battling against difficult elements but things are a thousand times worse now.
“It is a disastrous situation and the Welsh Government must wake up to this reality.”