Concerns have been raised about potential cuts to farming budgets in Wales after a recent announcement by the Welsh Government.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales have said they are “extremely concerned” after an announcement made by Wales Finance Minister Rebecca Evans, on Tuesday 17 October 2023, which will see significant cuts to rural affairs spending in Wales.

The proposed package of financial measures, which protect and increase both health and transport spending, could be dropped by around £600 million – with around £220 million coming from cuts to spending.


FUW President Ian Rickman said: “The fact that the budget allocation for rural affairs could be potentially reduced by over £37 million represents a significant blow to the industry.

“This is extremely concerning given the important work being undertaken by the Welsh Government’s rural affairs department at a time of major transition and pressures for farmers and the rural communities they support.

“No administration is immune from spending cuts and we fully recognise that there are pressures outside of the Welsh Government’s control.

“However, budget cuts of this significant nature call into question the ambitious environmental targets posited by the Welsh Government, added Mr Rickman. “Without proper and ambitious support for food production and environmentally sustainable farming it will be difficult for the industry to meet the aspirations of the Welsh Government in these areas.”

This announcement comes after cuts totalling more than £200 million in funding for Welsh agriculture and rural development since 2019 and FUW said this “solidifies concerns” regarding the lack of clarity around the budget available for the new Habitat Wales Scheme.

“It would be deeply concerning if reductions to this overall rural affairs budget led to a significantly smaller funding pot being made available for the Habitat Wales Scheme budget. We have consistently called for this new scheme, which is open to more than 17,000 Welsh farmers, to receive at least as much funding as the schemes it replaces,” added Mr Rickman.

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