Can we afford farming at any price?

Date: Friday 26th May 2017

Sir, I notice that the national press state that the Conservative Party has included in its election manifesto a commitment to continue paying the £3.2 billion subsidies paid currently by the EU to our farmers for the length of the new Parliament, if elected. Low key indeed this announcement.

One third of this sum is for environmental protection that, so far, has proven to be been a waste of money, as biodiversity is down by 40 per cent. over the last 30 years and declining.

We do not have enough money for our health service, our schools, our care for our aged and infirm; and our armed forces budgets and manpower are under strain, plus our law and order forces are pressed for funds as the workload grows.

Yet we can afford to promise £3.2 billion to agriculture from a tax to be wholly paid by us instead of one once shared by European taxpayers.

I can’t recall any possible savings from the Brexit action being promised to agriculture during the discussions, nor any such largess for the villages and towns of industrial Britain when coal, steel and heavy industry were destroyed to make our nation great again.

We certainly need farming, but at any price? Yours etc,

JOHN DUMONT

Penrith.