Plaid Cymru have criticised a parliamentary question from MP Ian Lucas they say ‘suggested money should be taken from Welsh farmers’, but he claims it was focused on ‘effective’ use of taxpayers money.
Mr Lucas asked the Secretary of State for Wales, “Does the Minister agree that leaving the European Union offers a golden opportunity to assess the level of subsidy paid to farming in Wales to see whether that money can be more effectively and efficiently spent in other areas?”
Plaid Cymru spokesperson Carrie Harper said: “A video of Mr Lucas’ statement in the House of Commons has been circulated on social media and the reaction has been complete dismay.
“People are rightly struggling to understand why a Welsh MP would suggest taking money from struggling Welsh farmers and rural communities, in order to spend it ‘in other areas’. With 60,000 jobs in Wales dependent on this sector, the statement by Mr Lucas is even more bizarre.”
Ms Harper added: “I could understand if he was questioning funding for wealthy absentee landlords or the barley barons who rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds in EU funding but he specifically targeted Welsh farming, which largely consists of upland family farms that would go to the wall without CAP funding.
“The impact of losing these family farms for the rural economy, the environment, the entire cultural and social fabric of many parts of Wales as well as the food production is impossible to calculate.
Ian Lucas MP defended his question, telling us; “For years, we have complained about the CAP – I think we should examine it. That means making taxpayer’s money work for everyone – including smaller farmers – in the most effective way possible.
“Unlike Plaid, I think we should spend taxpayers’ money in the interests of all of the people of Wales, not just the wealthiest landowners.”
A video of the question being asked in a packed House of Commons has been tweeted:
— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) July 13, 2016
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