Farmers face possible EU subsidies cut

Farmers in Cumbria say they could lose thousands of pounds a year if subsidies paid by the European Union are reduced.

"Farmers could lose thousands" says NFU secretary

Derek Lomax, Group Secretary of the NFU in Kendal, says farmers could each lose several thousand pounds.

He wants the British Government to reduce the amount it takes out of the farm subsidy pot for environmental works, which he says is higher than other countries, and believes the countryside will suffer if the proposed changes are made as they stand.

"If you look at the countryside and hills, this has all been created by farmers over generations.

"This is what the consumers out there tell us that they want to see so give money to farmers and they'll look after the countryside like this.

"If you give it to other schemes the countryside is going to suffer."

– Derek Lomax, Group Secretary of the NFU in Kendal

The governments of the EU member states and the European Parliament have until June to try to bring about compromises or change what is proposed.

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Cumbrian farmers' concerns over subsidy cut plans

Farmers in Cumbria say they could lose thousands of pounds a year if subsidies paid by the European Union are reduced.

The Single Farm Payment helps to keep many farmers in business, particularly in upland areas.

The changes would mean that payments are reduced by five per cent for those receiving more than 5,000 Euros per year.

Farmers in Cumbria believe they will lose out more than most other parts of Europe if the changes are introduced because British farms tend to be larger than in other parts of Europe.

"A cut in your farm payments when you're already earning less than the minimum wage - the reality is that your average hill farmer is earning significantly less than the minimum wage on their own farms - so a cut of 5% could be hugely debilitating, could put many farmers out of business and certainly will mean that there's no encouragement for the next generation to follow."

– Tim Farron MP, Westmorland and Lonsdale