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Labour Party to push for multi-annual agriculture budget

Shadow Defra Secretary Sue Hayman has promised to push for agriculture spending to be set on a long-term, multi-annual basis after Brexit.


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Labour to push for multi-annual agriculture budget

Ms Hayman made the remarks during an NFU event at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this week.

 

Her team is currently working on an amendment to the Agriculture Bill which would commit the Government to a multi-annual budget framework.

 

She told Farmers Guardian Ministers needed to be ‘pinned down’ on this because they had been ‘pretty vague’.

 

“There is no commitment in the Agriculture Bill to maintain funding beyond 2022,” Ms Hayman said.


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“We know for farmers to be sustainable environmentally, they must be sustainable economically.

 

“And that is why a multi-annual budget framework is one of the important changes to the Bill that my team is going to be looking at over the coming weeks.”

 

Internal party discussions on the exact length of the proposed framework are still ongoing, with the Shadow Defra team in ‘close conversation’ with the Shadow Treasury team on the matter.

 

The commitment will be welcomed by farming and environmental groups who have been pushing for long-term clarity on cash.

Richard Hebditch, director of Government affairs at the National Trust, called for agriculture funding to be on the same footing as road infrastructure budgets at a Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA) event at the conference.

 

He said: “There is a multi-annual settlement for roads infrastructure. They assess what the need is for that infrastructure, it is informed by good evidence, and then the Government sets out how much money will be available over a five-year period.

 

“It is really important we treat our natural infrastructure in the same way as rail infrastructure.”

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