MP dismayed by growing farm household poverty

Geoffrey Cox has expressed dismay at the financial difficulties experienced by increasing numbers of farming families in the South West.

 

Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, who attended a Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute (RABI) fund raising event at Tavistock Town Hall last week, has expressed dismay at the financial difficulties experienced by increasing numbers of farming families in the South West. The MP said that in England as a whole 25 per cent of farm households were in poverty at the last count, according to official figures recently obtained by the Conservatives.

Geoffrey Cox said: "I was told by RABI that the number of farming families having to ask for help in Devon is rising quickly and these figures show it is happening all over the country. Despite welcome increases in incomes, large numbers of farm businesses are barely breaking even as the costs and regulatory burdens imposed by the Government increase. In recent years, thousands of farmers have quit the industry, weakening our supply base and leaving us more reliant on imports of food that we could produce ourselves.

"Our agricultural industry is a vital national asset but too often under the current Government farmers have been undervalued and undermined. It is time that agriculture received the priority it deserves from a government that will take the action necessary, on fair competition, honest food labelling, tackling Bovine TB and cutting regulatory costs, to secure its future."

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