2 June 2017

Scrapping EU subsidies for farmers could put 250,000 jobs at risk, says report

Leaving the European Union and removing CAP payments to farmers without replacing it with a national policy could result in the loss of up to 250,000 jobs connected to the rural sector, according to a study.

In a report published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, economists said under all possible scenarios Britain would be outside EU CAP payments. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports farmers’ incomes through direct payments, 78% of the total.

Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom said the UK is committed to providing the same funding levels guaranteed under CAP. Recent research from the Universities’ of Lincoln and Kent suggest that the potential consequences could be felt far wider.

“Removing the CAP, and not replacing it with a national policy, would result in 1.6 per cent fall in employment in non-farm SMEs in the UK,” the report said.

 “To put this into context, this would represent a loss of about 250,000 jobs and a decrease in annual employment growth of about 0.2 percentage point.”

National policy

Farming depends greatly on subsidies. The total of £2.9bn received via the CAP represents 73% of total farm incomes in the UK. Since the largest number of jobs lost are concentrated in rural areas, the negative impact on the rural job market might be ‘very significant.’ But the authors of the report said Brexit presents the opportunity to develop both a lower cost and more effectively targeted solution to rural support.

Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom, who was writing for Conservative Home, said it was important to commit to the same funding levels as CAP.

“If elected on June 8, Theresa May’s Conservatives will commit to the same spending on farming and food production over the next Parliament as is now provided by the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy. As we translate the body of European law into our domestic regulations, it means that the rules around the environment, food and farming will be set in the UK.”

Credit to: https://www.farminguk.com/News/Scrapping-EU-subsidies-for-farmers-could-put-250-000-jobs-at-risk-says-report_46564.html