MP blasts unfair new farm payments which penalise Cumbrian farmers

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has written to DEFRA Secretary Therese Coffey over the huge unfairness in the Government’s new farm payment schemes.

Under the new scheme, lowland farmers are set to receive £151 per hectare, while upland farmers in places like Cumbria will receive a third less at just £98 per hectare.

Tim has warned the Government that this unfairness will lead to farmers in Cumbria going out of business and therefore not able to provide the environmental work that the Government are hoping to incentivise.

Speaking today, Tim said: “The payments are not just unfair, they will also lead to the centuries old Lake District landscape changing negatively in just a few months, devastating this tourism economy and our heritage as well as farming.”

In a letter to the Secretary of State, Tim said: “Upland areas are categorised by the Government as Less Favoured Areas and, despite their beauty and importance, are being overlooked and undervalued. Uplands farmers are being pushed to the brink of their economic margins.

“Farmers should not be economically disadvantaged simply due to their geographical location. If the Government is serious about preserving our biodiversity and climate, it must uprate ELMS payments for uplands farmers in line with the lowland equivalents. This will provide incentive to create nature-friendly farming practices as well as help those who our country relies so much on.”

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