Welsh LFA cut may not be so deep

A proposed cut in Tir Mynydd scheme payments to Welsh less favoured area farmers could be reduced by £7m in 2008.

No extra money has been added to the overall rural affairs budget, but members of the Welsh Assembly’s Environment, Planning and Countryside Committee have agreed to reprioritise how the allocation is spent.

The plan was thrashed out when the committee held a special meeting at the Welsh National Botanical Gardens. Details still have to be agreed at a full plenary session of the assembly before campaigning begins for elections in May.


But opposition assembly members claimed that their refusal to accept the original Tir Mynydd budget had proved to be justified.

Plaid Cymru member Elin Jones, who drafted the revised spending plan, said it was a victory for the democratic process rather than party politics. The payments were essential for those who farmed the 80% of Welsh land classified as disadvantaged.

Under her proposal, the additional cash for Tir Mynydd would be generated by trimming back spending on the Tir Gofal and Tir Cynnal schemes by £2m and £4.6m, respectively.

Under Ms Jones’s draft plan farmers would get £25m in Tir Mynydd payments in 2009 compared with the £18.95m proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

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