5 years to deliver ‘quick win’ not good enough

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has welcomed the Labour government’s announcement that the six-day standstill rule is to be replaced in Spring 2017 – five years after initially saying it would be scrapped.

Mr Gruffydd asked the rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths for an update on the six-day standstill rule in the Senedd yesterday, prompting confirmation of the introduction of new measures in Spring 2017.

Mr Gruffydd said: “I welcome the decision to finally move away from the six-day standstill rule, which has caused so many problems for farmers over the years. It’s very regrettable that it’s taken so long for the Government to take action, despite repeated pressure from Plaid Cymru and the farming unions.

“Plaid Cymru has consistently supported changes that deliver a better deal for farmers and rural areas but Labour seems happy to drag its feet and many important matters have been left lingering.

“Five years ago the Working Smarter report outlined how the Government could remove bureaucracy and cut red tape for the agriculture industry. One of its key recommendations was to scrap the six-day standstill rule which locks farms down after animals are brought on to the farm. It was described as a quick win and was expected to be delivered by July 2012. The Government accepted that recommendation. It should not have taken more than five years for Labour to deliver that ‘quick win’.

“Farmers have businesses to run and they need a government that will act decisively on key issues. Labour’s lackadaisical approach to rural communities and farming matters is undermining the whole sector.”

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