The Conservatives have proposed a retirement scheme to support farmers who wish to leave the industry, freeing up land for new entrants. However, no analysis has been done on the number expected to take up the scheme, nor how many new entrants will replace them.
Questions from the Liberal Democrats have revealed that the Government only “think” that new workers will enter the industry.
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, Tim Farron MP, said: “This news is deeply concerning. The farming industry has already been battered by the Conservative’s mishandling of Brexit, the failure to protect animal welfare standards and the cuts to support payments without the replacement even being ready.
“Now the Government is encouraging people to leave the industry, with no idea who will replace them. This risks damaging our countryside irrevocably, with experienced land managers who have spent their lives caring for animals and the environment leaving the industry because the Conservatives are making it more and more difficult to do their job.
“Liberal Democrats back British farmers. The Conservatives must start listening to them. If they don’t, we will lose the very people who are needed to reverse the climate and nature crisis we are facing.”