News
18th May

2015

TFA Media Release No. 09 – TFA Cymru – Sheep Farmers Need Long Term Security

TFA Cymru – Sheep Farmers Need Long Term Security

TFA Cymru is pleased to be attending, for the first time, the National Sheep Association’s Welsh Sheep Event this year and will be using its presence to highlight the need for sheep farmers to have long-term security of tenure.

Chief Executive, George Dunn said “It is extremely difficult for livestock farmers, particularly those with breeding livestock, when the only access to land is short-term.  It undermines plans for investment, restricts the business from protecting itself from volatility and reduces the ability for positive environmental management”.

“Across the industry and particularly in Wales, there is strong support for the need to enhance opportunities for new entrants.  It is very pleasing that there is now a large and growing number of young people who are looking to get into agriculture and the NSA has been a particular champion of young people looking to establish themselves in the sheep sector.  However, it is a crying shame that despite this enthusiasm there continues to be a lack of opportunity for these young people to be able to get into farming as a business and even those that do find it a struggle to progress beyond the first rung of the ladder,” said Mr Dunn.

“We need a major shift from rhetoric to action.  Farm Business Tenancies (FBTs) provide the principal way-in for individuals wishing to be farmers on their own account.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of FBTs but sadly they have failed to provide a sufficient number of sustainable opportunities for entry or progression.  This is mainly because the average length of term offered is so short at less than four years,” said Mr Dunn.

“The action we need is for Government to prioritise long-term letting of agricultural land by changing the taxation environment within which landlords make decisions.  Why should a private landlord receive the significant benefit of 100% relief from Inheritance Tax if he is only prepared to let land for a short period of time.  The nation receives nothing in return for this.  TFA Cymru argues that only those landlords prepared to let for a period of 10 years or more should receive that significant tax break,” said Mr Dunn.

“Whilst the Welsh Government does not have tax raising powers, TFA Cymru believes that its aspiration for a new long-term strategy for Welsh agriculture depends upon it convincing the Westminster Government of the need to make the necessary fiscal changes to encourage longer term tenancies,” said Mr Dunn.

end

Ref:  MR09

Date: 18 May 2015

Notes for Editors:

The TFA will be on stand 130 at NSA Welsh Sheep at Glanmiheli & Drefor Farms, Newtown, Kerry, Newtown, Powys, SY16 4LN on Tuesday 19 May.

For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

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