Government challenged on cuts to farm support during food inflation crisis

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today challenged the government over its planned cuts to farm support payments during a crisis in rising food prices. Speaking in Parliament today, Mr Carmichael pressed the government over the reduction in support which will see payments to farmers drop by as much as 50% in parts of the UK in the next few years, and reminded the Secretary of State George Eustice that support for food producers is support for lower food prices for families.

Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:

“There are clearly international factors at play here over which no minister can have total control, but we can have control over the support that we give to our own domestic food producers in this country. So is this not the moment to do as the NFU have asked of the minister and pause the programme of cuts to basic payments to farmers that this year will see payments cut by 25%, next year by 30% and the year after that by 50%?”

Responding, the Secretary of State George Eustice MP said:

“This government pledged to keep the spending on agriculture in cash terms the same year after year during this Parliament. We are phasing out the subsidy on land ownership… we are replacing that with a more logical approach which is about supporting the things that farmers do for the environment.”

Reacting after the exchange Mr Carmichael said:

“Support for UK farmers is support for UK families facing soaring food prices. If we want to keep local food production and keep food costs low then help for farmers is essential. If the government continues to cut support for our agricultural communities then it will be taking yet another swing at the finances of struggling families.

“Now is the time for the government to back farmers, food producers and families and reverse their cuts to farm support.”

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