February 14, 2024
British government must provide certainty on future farm support 

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has told the British government they must provide a robust commitment to fund the Farm Payment Scheme beyond 2024.

The South Down MP has also asked the British Chancellor to increase the £300 million fund to help meet the spiralling costs of farm production. 

Mr Hazzard said: 

“The Basic Payment Scheme (previously the Single Farm Payment) is a vital support fund for our local farms. 

“This payment is thought to account for a significant amount of the farming income generated every year in the north and is a key lifeline in sustaining the fabric of our local farming industry. 

“Despite this, many local farmers continue to face significant financial pressures, with adverse weather conditions amongst other things having a huge impact on farming.

“Speaking to local farmers it is clear they are anxious about future adequate financial support, with this uncertainty making things incredibly difficult to plan ahead sustainably. 

“I have told the British government today that local farmers need a commitment that the Basic Payment Scheme will continue to be funded by the British Treasury beyond 2024. They must fully replace lost EU funds. 

“The British government must also engage with our local farming industry regarding the urgent need to increase the current £300 million support budget. It’s clear due to inflation and other external factors, the current figure no longer supports the needs of our farmers.

“I will continue to work with and support our local farms in the time ahead and to ensure they receive the funding which they desperately need.”

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