Financial support for Welsh farmers needed urgently

Hypocrisy as Labour call Scottish Government’s scheme ‘too little, too late’ but do nothing in Wales

Plaid Cymru’s Rural Affairs Spokesperson, Llyr Gruffydd, has called on the Welsh Government to offer financial assistance to farmers facing difficulty following extreme weather conditions in 2018.

The freezing ‘Beast from the East’ and unusually hot summer weather has slashed silage crop production and increased the cost of feed. With farm support payments not scheduled until the end of the year, farmers will be facing financial and practical difficulties in sourcing sufficient and affordable feed for their livestock.

The Scottish Government launched a scheme offering financial assistance to farmers yesterday – a move described by Labour in Scotland as ‘too little, too late’. Mr Gruffydd highlighted the hypocrisy of the situation, as Labour is yet to make any proposals for financial assistance in Wales where they are in power.

Reiterating the need for the Welsh Government to act urgently to ensure farmers’ financial fears are not realised, Llyr Gruffydd said:

“A year of extreme weather conditions has led to soaring costs for farmers across Wales. With expenses remaining high and no support payments until the end of the year, many farms will face a financial bind.

“As the heart of our rural economy and community, the Welsh Government has an obligation to ensure our farms are properly supported.

“Yesterday, Scottish Labour ridiculed the Holyrood Government’s scheme of bridging loans for farms facing difficulty as ‘too little, too late.’ The Labour Welsh Government, on the other hand, is yet to lift a finger to help farmers with these difficult conditions.

“Labour’s hypocrisy seemingly knows no bounds

“As agricultural shows continue over the summer, it has become clear that concerns over the looming crisis on feeding livestock on Welsh farms is widespread.

“The Welsh Government should implement a similar loan scheme for Wales. It should also commit to the early release of farm payments to ease the financial pressure on farmers. It also must provide practical support to help source and transport sufficient feed later in the year.

“For the sake of our rural communities the Welsh Government must now act with urgent financial assistance.”

Details of the Scottish Government’s agricultural support scheme, including Scottish Labour’s comments: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-government-offers-bridging-loans-to-farmers-following-extreme-weather-1-4783452

 

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