Westminster Cuts Could Lead to Difficulties Delivering Single Farm Payments

Concerns have been raised over the Assembly’s ability to process Single Farm Scheme Payments for Farmers in the county as a result of financial cutbacks imposed on Wales from the Conservative – Lib Dem coalition in Westminster. The warnings were voiced by Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones AM, in a response to Rhodri Glyn Thomas AMs questioning at the Assembly.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“I am extremely proud of the impressive record the Plaid driven Welsh government has in making Single Farm payments. It is a great achievement on Elin’s behalf as Minister, that 82.5% of payments were processed on the very first day possible. However, I am concerned that the cuts that being targeted on Wales by the ConDem government could lead to problems in the delivery of these payments.”

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“There is little doubt that the sorts of cuts being implemented by Conservative Members in the county are designed specifically at hitting poorer and rural areas like West Wales. Processing Single Farm payments quickly is hugely important to the agricultural industry and I hope that this will be taken into consideration by the Westminster government as they look at which areas to cut back.”

Nerys Evans AM added:

“This is another example of how the savage cuts being introduced by the Tories in London will have an effect on us in West Wales. I hope the Tory politicians who represent this area are making the views of Carmarthenshire residents known in Westminster. Elin Jones has done an excellent job to ensure that the Single Farm Payments have been dealt with so effectively but once again it’s the people in our rural areas who are going to suffer most as a result of these Tory decisions in London.”

DIWEDD / ENDS

Nodiadau / Notes:

Rhodri Glyn Thomas (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr): Will the Minister make a statement on single farm payments in Wales.

Elin Jones: Wales continues to make early Single Payment Scheme payments. In 2009 we paid 92.5% of Welsh farmers by end of December (approx £253m), with 82.5% processed on the first day (approx £204m). We must however recognise that financial cutbacks may impact on this impressive record in the future.

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