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Conservative Government choose to plough ahead with plans to bankrupt Cumbria’s farmers

January 13, 2020 11:58 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has accused the Government of decimating hill farming in Cumbria after they refused to extend a payment scheme which is considered a lifeline for farmers.

At the Oxford farming conference last week, DEFRA Secretary Theresa Villiers dismissed calls from the National Farmers Union and others to delay the phase-out of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which currently makes up 85% of the income of English livestock farmers.

The Government's current proposal is to phase out the BPS from 2021 and replace it with the Environmental Land Management Scheme from 2024.

However, there are serious concerns about a lack of detail about how the new scheme would work.

Tim said: "This is completely cloth-eared from the Conservatives as they seek to yet again ignore Cumbrian farmers.

"Removing direct payments without a clear alternative in place will massively undermine our farming economy, and our ability to feed ourselves and protect our historic landscape."