Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
Today I can confirm a total budget of £238 million to provide direct payments to farmers in 2023 at the same level provided over the past three years. I am also able to announce, subject to budget availability, that BPS will continue to be provided at current levels in 2024, with a provisional allocation of £238 million.
The Chancellor’s statement on 17 November does not even come close to providing the funding needed to protect public service budgets and protect people and businesses against the immense challenges caused by record inflation.
The agriculture sector also faces detrimental impact from trade deals, one of which the former UK Government Environment Secretary who helped secure the agreement has said is “not actually a very good deal for the UK".
The UK Government has continually refused to review the farm funding methodology and replace, in full, the funding Wales would have received had we remained in the European Union. Last year, the Chancellor announced Wales would receive £252.19 million for agricultural support in FY 2022/23 to replace EU Common Agricultural Policy funding, with Welsh farmers losing a further £106 million, on top of the £137 million of funding the Treasury did not provide the year before.
The continued failure of the UK Government to adjust funding levels to deal with rising costs exacerbates the impact of their economic mismanagement on farmers in Wales. These challenges underline the importance of the need to transition to a new system of farm support which is fairer and more effectively promotes sustainable food production.
Welsh Government will continue to work to prioritise our budgets to shield the most vulnerable and maintain our commitment to create a stronger, fairer and greener Wales as reflected in our draft Budget for 2023-24.