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CLA Calls for Defra to Stick to CAP Commitment

02 December 2013

UK - The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said this week that Defra must resist the temptation to "gold-plate" the incoming raft of Common Agricultural Policy regulations.

CLA President Henry Robinson said the Government must bear in mind its commitment to cutting red tape – and focus on giving farmers and land managers workable rules.

Mr Robinson said: "In our CAP consultation response to Defra, we are suggesting a sensible way forward for farmers in England.

"The Government needs to remember the recommendations of the MacDonald Report and discard needless bureaucracy."

In its response to Defra's Consultation on Implementation of CAP Reform in England, the CLA supports a boost in direct payments to farmers in the Uplands, and calls on Defra to support rural employment by deciding not to offset salaries.

The CLA also argues that "the crop diversification measure will place a significant burden on farming practices".

While accepting the concept of moving money from the support pillar (Pillar One) to the rural development pillar (Pillar Two), the CLA calls for this to take place at nine per cent pending a review in 2017.

The CLA President added: "This would give Defra the chance to assess the effectiveness of the first three years of the new Rural Development Programme before it needs to make a decision on its future.

"We do not believe Defra's preferred rate of 15 per cent, which is the maximum possible, is right at present. The nine per cent level would be right for an increased focus on farming and forestry competitiveness and the EU growth programme, creating more jobs in the countryside."

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