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Government retirement plans risk the future of farming in Cumbria - MP

June 24, 2021 6:07 PM

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has accused the Government of threatening the future of farming in the county, after it was revealed they are encouraging farmers to leave the industry without any plans to replace them.

Last month the Government announced a new retirement scheme to support farmers who wish to leave the industry, freeing up land for new entrants.

However in response to a Written Parliamentary Question from Tim, the Farming Minister Victoria Prentis revealed that no analysis has actually been done on the number expected to take up the scheme, nor how many new entrants will replace them.

Instead, the Government just say that they "think" that new workers will enter the industry.

Tim said: "This is massively concerning.

"Cumbria's farmers already face huge uncertainty thanks to the Conservatives' failure to protect animal welfare standards in the trade deal with Australia and the cuts to farm support payments without the replacement even being ready.

"Now the Government is actively encouraging farmers to leave the industry, with no idea who will replace them.

"But we know this isn't happening by accident. The Government's refusal to step in and save Newton Rigg agricultural college shows how little they care about the future of farming in places like Cumbria.

"The Conservatives have taken farmers for granted for too long - it's time they started listening to local farmers before there are none left to listen to".