May 12, 2022 11:06 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

On the floor of the House of Commons yesterday, South Lakes MP Tim Farron criticised the government for making no mention of rural communities or farmers and the issues they have been facing.

In his speech, Tim emphasised that farmers are on the front line of providing food to the nation and tackling the climate crisis simultaneously, but the government's current policies are jeopardising farmer's efforts to improve the climate.

Tim said: "We should also care because our farmers are on the frontline of tackling climate change and providing environmental restoration.

"Some 70% of England's land mass is farmed, so if we care about tackling climate change and the biodiversity crisis, the reality is that the greenest thing that any Government can do is keep Britain's farmers farming.

"They are the only people who will make even the greatest plans come to fruition, because the greatest plans in the world will remain just plans in a drawer without farmers to introduce them."

Tim also discussed the transition to the new farm payment system outlining the fact that most farmers are now being left worse off under the new system. He said: "In my constituency, every single farmer has lost at least 5% of their basic payments and will lose at least 20% this year. All of the hundreds of farms that I represent are in that position.

"This year, 13 of the farms that I represent-a tiny proportion, little more than 1%-will be getting anything from the new sustainable farming incentive. The Government's botched transition to the new scheme is costing farmers thousands of pounds a year, with nothing to replace it.

"So, what will happen? Farmers will either go bust or go backwards.

"If they do not go bust, they will go backwards and give up on doing any environmental work whatever; they will just get more stock, because that is the only way that they can keep food on their own table."

Speaking afterwards, Tim again expressed his disappointment in the Government for their lack of attention to farmers: "This Queen's speech is incredibly disappointing for us, no mention of rural communities or farmers is shocking, we have been neglected and taken advantage of time and time and again."