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Farron calls for extension of Hill Farm Allowance

October 16, 2008 9:46 AM

Tim on a quad bike on a hill farmShadow Secretary of State for DEFRA, Tim Farron MP has expressed his concern that the new Uplands Entry Level Scheme will leave many hill farmers without vital funding and has called on the Government to request a one year extension of the Hill Farm Allowance scheme from the European Union. The new funding scheme for hill farmers is due to be decided in the next few weeks, but the draft version of the scheme will be too exclusive for most hill farmers - leaving many of them with a massive drop in their already meagre incomes.

Mr Farron tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons asking for a one year extension to the current allowance to allow time for a fairer deal for hill farmers to be put together.

Tim's motion comes after he called upon Hillary Benn to make the new scheme accessible to hill farmers.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Hill farming forms a unique part of the British countryside; which rightly deserves protection. Without it we risk damaging not only our food resources but the landscape.

"The proposed new scheme (the Uplands Level Entry Scheme) is a criminally inadequate replacement for the Hill Farm allowance which if allowed to progress as it stands could help to destroy hill farming.

"The Government has the opportunity to do something about this. Hilary Benn must ask the EU to extend the Hill Farm Allowance for another year and provide the breathing space for hill farmers to be given the fair deal that they deserve."