Tag Archives: farmers

Are farmers flocking to the Lib Dems?

There is a stereotype around and about. That farmers vote Tory. Of course, many farmers vote Tory as do many non-farmers. But a growing number of farmers are supporting the Lib Dems. We saw this in North Shropshire where orange diamonds went up in fields across the constituency. This week, Stuart Roberts the outgoing deputy president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), previously a Conservative councillor, joined the Liberal Democrats.

There is a modal shift underway in rural areas. Areas and occupations previously seen as “true blue” are getting fed up with the way they have been ignored by the Conservative government. It is not just about farming. The lack of affordable housing, the growth of second homes and the paucity of public transport concern rural voters. As does the cost of fuel for vehicles and to heat homes. The Tories are ignoring these issues. They are ignoring the reality that many small farms are likely to go out of business as funding schemes change. Far from being protectors of the countryside as they have boasted in the past, the Conservatives are increasingly seen as its enemy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Jane Dodds: Welsh Farmers feel sold down the river by the Conservatives

Jane Dodds has said that the Welsh Council elections in May offer an opportunity for voters who feel let down by the Conservatives to send them a message by electing hard-working Liberal Democrats, just like they did in North Shropshire.

Writing in the County Times, she highlighted the failure of the Conservative Government to meet the needs of farmers and highlights growing support for the Liberal Democrats.

Time and time again on the doorstep we heard the sheer anger of voters, many of whom had voted Conservative for decades, that the Government simply doesn’t care about rural areas.

In contrast to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ mantra, many of these communities feel they are being levelled down.

This feeling was particularly strong among North Shropshire’s farming community and their concerns echo that I’ve heard across Powys.

Whether it’s on their failure to engage with the industry over concerns over the Australian and New Zealand trade deals, a failure to solve problems on the UK-EU veterinary agreement or a failure to help address labour shortages, the Conservatives are repeatedly failing to address the problems faced by our farmers.

Many feel as if they have been sold down the river for quick trade deals designed to benefit big bankers in the City with little regard for rural communities.

In contrast, the Liberal Democrats have a lot to offer the rural communities they have always understood and served:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Tavish Scott slams SNP’s “slap in the face” to Scottish farmers

You really could not make it up. Farmers have been struggling for months because of delays in getting their CAP payments to them. For months the failures of an £178 million IT system have stopped farmers being paid, causing them serious cash flow issues.

The SNP Government, after too long, issued them with emergency cash advances.

If those advances turn out to be more than the payment they were due, it has now emerged that farmers will have just 7 days to repay the difference or be charged a whopping rate of interest.

Given that they are in the mess …

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Jo Swinson MP writes….new powers for Groceries Code Adjudicator will ensure fair deal for local suppliers

Thanks to the persistent efforts of Liberal Democrats, especially Business Secretary Vince Cable, the Prime Minister has agreed to our demands for the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to be able to impose significant fines on any large supermarkets who treat their suppliers unfairly.

The Adjudicator will now be able to impose penalties on the supermarkets of up to 1% of their UK annual turnover, dependant on the seriousness of the breach.

I was proud to build on the work of my predecessors Ed Davey and Norman Lamb, take the Bill through Parliament to create the Groceries Code Adjudicator in 2013. It was an important step to help govern the commercial relationships between the UK’s ten largest supermarkets and their direct suppliers – many of whom are farmers and small independent dealers.

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