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Inaccurate coverage on our farming budget

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farming

The Guardian has today published a piece claiming the government has broken its promise to English farmers by failing to spend the promised £2.4 billion a year on agriculture between 2021 and 2023.

This is categorically untrue. As we have already made clear, our commitment to spend an average of £2.4 billion per year across the Parliament. We are currently on track to maintain our annual farming budget for England, with plans to spend more of this in the final years of this Parliament. 

As you would expect, there are fluctuations each year which arise from variations in the amounts of money claimed for our schemes and grants. We manage this by adjusting our future plans to maintain our commitment of total spend across the Parliament.

We published a financial commentary which holds further information on spend and how much we achieved in 2022/23.

In 2024, as we release more funding from area-based subsidy and bring forward available spend from previous years, we will see:

  • The start of thousands of CS 2024 agreements, including more farmers in our higher-ambition Higher Tier than ever before;
  • The continued roll out of our new and improved SFI 23 offer to thousands of farmers;
  • Further spending on productivity, innovation and animal health and welfare grants;
  • Increased funding for the Farming in Protected Landscapes scheme.

A Defra spokesperson said:

These claims are categorically untrue. As we have repeatedly made clear, we are on track to meet our commitment to maintaining our annual farming budget for England at £2.4 billion per year, with a higher spend planned in the final year of this Parliament to ensure we achieve this.

We have invested a significant amount of money in the farming sector including through our Environmental Land Management Schemes and we are seeing strong demand for the improved Sustainable Farming Incentive offer. This has been complemented by grants and funds to help farmers innovate and modernise – such as the Farming Innovation Programme.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by alan wightman posted on

    Nobody believes DEFRA. Not water pollution, nor anything else.