North East MSP Mike Rumbles has welcomed the results of a survey carried out by Scottish Environment LINK, showing that most Scots want ministers to do more to make farm payments work for our environment.
The Liberal Democrat MSP has relentlessly campaigned for a new system of farming support, designed specifically for Scotland, to be ready before the UK leaves the EU. On 19th January 2017, the Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed to Mr Rumbles’ amendment calling on the Minister to put together a team of rural, environmental and consumer experts to design the new system but, unfortunately, he has so far failed to act.
Environment LINK’s poll of 1000 Scots shows that 77% of respondents would like to see farm support be conditional to land managers showing that they are supporting wildlife and are reducing climate impacts.
Mr Rumbles said: “I’m pleased to see that data collected by Environment LINK shows conclusively that most people think we need a new system of farm support, fit for Scotland in the twenty-first century.
“It is not all or nothing, better targeting of support for farmers can benefit everyone. Many farmers are already doing a good job of protecting our environment. I want to see a new system that rewards those who make the most of our land and keep it in good condition for future generations.
“The Scottish Government has been frustratingly slow to act and with only a year until the Brexit deal is completed we’ve heard nothing about the SNP’s plans for our rural economy after 2022. The danger is that without a strong plan in place the budget for farm payments could easily be swallowed up by other ministerial departments.
“It is a great shame that we have a rural affairs minister who is more concerned with picking fights with his Westminster counterpart than making the most of opportunities for Scotland’s rural economy.”
Notes for editors:
- Please see the full Scottish Environment LINK survey and press release at: http://www.scotlink.org/public-documents/77-of-scots-want-farming-to-deliver-for-our-environment-and-climate-poll-suggests/