The Welsh Government has shot down ’nonsense’ claims by Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, Llyr Gruffydd, on a lack of action on important rural issues.
In his attack yesterday, Mr Gruffydd pointed to a three and a half year delay in removing the six-day animal standstill rule and a two and a half year delay in setting up a replacement for the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB).
“It is nonsense to suggest we are failing to lead and support change in our agricultural industry,” a Welsh Government spokesperson said today (Tuesday, October 13).
“Through the new Strategic Framework for Agriculture, our Action Plan for Food and Drink, and our new, ambitious Rural Development Programme (RDP), we are working with our farmers to put Welsh agriculture on the best possible footing for the future.
“We are committed to ensuring that workers in the agricultural sector receive fair pay which reflects the importance of their contribution to our overall economy together with the experience and skills they possess.
“By taking forward the Agricultural Sector Wales Bill we have ensured the lowest paid agricultural workers in Wales will now have a degree of protection that they would not otherwise have had, with a minimum level of pay for each grade of agricultural worker. Such provisions are no longer in place in England.
“We are in the process of establishing the new Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales which will fulfil functions similar to the abolished AWB, including drafting new agricultural wages orders.
“Two public consultations on the structure and operation of the Panel have already concluded. The responses to these helped develop final proposals for the Panel which is expected to be put in place by early 2016.”