British farmers want basic income to cope with post-Brexit struggles

The Guardian

Farmers are calling for the government to grant them a universal basic income, saying the post-Brexit agriculture subsidy scheme has left many poorer.

Delays to the sustainable farming schemes put in place after the UK left the European Union, to replace the common agricultural policy (CAP), have meant that in England many farmers have been left out of pocket. The new regime initially suffered from low subscription rates, and the government has underspent hundreds of millions from the £2.4bn farming budget each year due to lack of sign-up.

Scotland and Wales have different farming schemes, and Northern Ireland has not yet set up its new scheme due to Stormont not having sat for two years. In Wales, there have been protests over plans to ask farmers to set aside 20% of their farms for nature and tree planting.

Government projections and independent analysis have shown that the new nature payments schemes will not plug the gap left by the lack of EU subsidies for most farmers. The nature schemes were never meant to replace the CAP payments exactly, and instead are aimed at paying farmers to provide public goods.

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