Farmers infuriated by decision to impose 15pc payment cut

Saturday, December 14, 2013
4:27 PM

Four Norfolk farmers met Defra’s minister George Eustice to highlight concerns about proposals to plough support payments into rural development programmes.

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The group from south-west Norfolk including former chairman Bob Young, of Hockwold, told the farming minister Mr Eustice that shifting 15pc of payments – as proposed by Defra - would make the industry less competitive.

Mr Young said that the environment Select Committee had recommended that payments should be moved in phases from 9pc. “Figures from the NFU and from the Efra committee suggest that 9pc may well be sufficient to fund the existing commitments. Another issue is competitiveness – every extra percentage cut in Pillar 1 money going to farms makes us less competitive when compared to our European counterparts,” he added.

The Westminster meeting was organised by South-west Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who added: “I am extremely concerned about land being taken out of food production and I want to make sure our farmers are not disadvantaged compared to other European countries.”

Mr Eustice, said: “I spent ten years working in the farming industry and I want to do my part to help deliver a vibrant and profitable industry in the future.”

However, the NFU has been infuriated by Defra’s decision to impose a maximum 15pc modulation on support payments, as reported by the EDP. Environment secretary Owen Paterson has made the recommendation to a key cabinet committee – just a fortnight after a four-week consultation ended on November 28.

Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said that Defra had pledged that the maximum transfer would only be made if it delivered “worthwhile and valuable outcomes.”

The scale of modulation, which will be applied from the single payment scheme 2014 onwards, must sent to the European Commission by December 31.

“Farmers remain at a complete loss to understand what government intends to use this money on, or how it can be used effectively for the benefit of their businesses.”

In Scotland, payments will be modulated at 9.5pc while Germany has opted for 4.5pc, he added.

“It is profoundly disappointing and infuriating that this government appears committed to increasing the modulation rate with no idea of how the money will be spent. Ministers have totally failed to deliver on their pledge to farmers that such a decision would deliver worthwhile and valuable outcomes,” he said.

6 comments

  • Farmers complaining, there's a first.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Subsidies that distort world trade to favour Eu farmers and large agri concerns such as the Coop, should be phased out, how fast this happens is down to member countries.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Daisy, I'm afraid I'm with the RSPB on this one. Any public money received by farmers should be used to deliver public goods such as wildlife, landscape, clean water etc. 15% modulation isn't enough in my view. I'm afraid the farming industry has proven that they have no interest in delivering the public goods people want. There are a few shining examples but these are not your typical rank and file NFU members. I know that the RSPB receive the same subsidies farmers receive (they are also farmers incidentally) but at least I can visit their reserves and enjoy wildlife etc. when was the last time a farmer invited the public onto their land in grateful thanks for the public subsidy they receive?

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    Betty Swallocks

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Mrs Evoque surely!

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    Betty Swallocks

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Mr Land Rover and Mrs Discovery will be disappointed.

    Report this comment

    Alan Black Fan

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Area payments help to ensure continuity and balance of food supplies in Europe and avoid boom bust supplies and markets. British farmers do much less well out of them than in some other member states. Who cares about world markets when what we need is a strong British farming industry to feed us and to export. What is deeply troubling is that payments meant to help farmers will be diverted to idiots like the RSPB who will hold out their begging bowl made of false statistics and use their membership lobby to aid their cause-their managers will be rubbing their hands together . No doubt there will also be wind farm style companies set up to make a few bob out of " environmental" matters Defra is in the pocket of politically motivated environmentalists-unfortunately some of them seem strong on theory and weak in the head.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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