Farron statement on Hill Farm Allowance
Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and Chair of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming has issued the following statement regarding yesterday's written Ministerial Statement on the Hill Farm Allowance:
"I am pleased that the government has decided on a three year rollover for the Hill Farm Allowance. This gives the government time to consult properly and work on a scheme that will help farmers to not just survive but thrive. The HFA will now continue until 2010, this is something that the NFU and the APPG on Hill Farming have been calling for for a long time, and I am glad to say that the pressure has paid off.
The replacement scheme will be the Upland Entry Level Scheme. There are three principle concerns that I have with this:
· Firstly I want the government to use the consultation period to listen hard to farmers and to consult widely within the industry.
· Secondly I want assurances from the government that at the very least the current HFA budget of £27million per year will not be cut during the final three years of its life.
· Finally I want to see this new scheme made accessible to the largest possible number of hill farmers - an exclusive scheme will help no one."