Friday, 28 February 2020 11:32

Elderly UK farmers should be paid to retire, says Minister

Written by  Staff Reporters
UK Environment Secretary, George Eustice. Photo: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament. UK Environment Secretary, George Eustice. Photo: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament.

UK Environment Secretary, George Eustice has an unusual solution to improving the environment: paying farmers to retire.

Speaking at the National Farmers' Union’s 2020 Conference this week, Eustice said that some veteran farmers are 'standing in the way of change', reports The Telegraph.

He said that paying veteran farmers a lump sum would enable them to ‘retire with dignity’.

Eutice, who was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on February 13, 2020, said the lump sum would consist of several years' subsidy payments.

He says such a measure would offer better opportunities for new entrants with fresh perspectives for agriculture. 

The average age of farm holders in the UK is 59.

Eutice’s recommendation comes as the UK government works to phase out £3 billion (NZ $6.13 billion) in subsidies from the EU Common Agricultural Policy basic payment scheme from 2021.

The scheme has been criticised for creating barriers to entry for newcomers by paying farmers on the basis of the land they hold, rather than their productivity, effectively discouraging innovation. 

Eutice says new entrants are the lifeblood of all industries, with agriculture being no exception. 

More like this

From coal to pellets

Fonterra is on track to meeting an interim target of achieving a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Council tasked with making unworkable work

Following a meeting between farmer representatives and environment and ag ministers, Environment Southland will be setting up a local advisory group for freshwater rules.

Farmers try to rectify mistakes

After hearing about problems with the Government’s new freshwater regulations, Tony Cleland organised a meeting between farmer representatives and the Ministers for the Environment and Agriculture.

Featured

Living the dream on farm

DairyNZ board candidate Cole Groves says he is “living the dream” as a dairy farmer, milking just over 400 cows near Hinds in Mid-Canterbury.

 

From coal to pellets

Fonterra is on track to meeting an interim target of achieving a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030.

National

Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bully boys?

OPINION: This old mutt hears that there is some discontent in the wool sector at the tactics being used by the…

Tacky!

OPINION: Your canine crusader, like many in the rural sector, was deeply distressed to hear the tragic news that a…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter