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Farron: Government Neglecting Common Land Farmers

April 18, 2016 10:00 AM

Tim FarronThe government is neglecting common land farmers in order to make its payment figures look better, according to South Lakes MP Tim Farron.

Basic Payment Scheme claims relating to common land have been put to the bottom of the processing pile, meaning that many local farmers have still not received their payments for 2015. It is thought that around 60 farmers graze common land in South Lakeland.

In a response to a letter from Tim, the Farming Minister George Eustice MP justified this approach, saying that "the RPA has had to make some tough decisions to maximise the number of claims that they could pay. Common land claims can be more complex to process… payments will start once they have resolved all outstanding queries".

Tim said: "The government is showing a callous attitude towards farmers who are facing a desperate struggle to survive.

"What this letter shows is that the government would rather manipulate its figures by pushing through the simple claims, rather than actually focusing on helping the farmers who need it.

"Local farmers had expected this money four months ago, yet many have still not received it. Farmers cannot plan ahead when they face this uncertainty.

"The farm payments system has been a complete shambles this year, and it is common land farmers who are bearing the brunt of this."