Income gap between English and Welsh farms widens, figures reveal

The income gap between farms in England and Wales has widened, according to new figures.

Data released by Welsh Government show that the average so-called Farm Business Income (FBI) in Wales for 2016/17 was £24.5k, while in England the figure was 55% higher at £38k.

This means the gap between the English and Welsh numbers grew from £9,400 in 2015/16 to £13,500 in 2016/17.

Farm incomes in England saw a 20% year-on-year growth compared to the 10% growth seen in Wales.

Meanwhile, income for dairy farms in Wales contracted by 5% from £32,800 to £31,300 in the current year, compared to a 21% growth in England.

In 2016, the GVA of Welsh farms was the lowest in the UK: £178m compared to £2,460m for England, £749m for Scotland, and £244m for Northern Ireland.

This represents the lowest GVA figure for farms in Wales since 2010.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Davies AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Rural Affairs, said:

“These figures show that under Welsh Labour farming in Wales is in decline, while farming in England under Conservatives is thriving.

“For too long, Welsh Labour have sat on their hands while longstanding issues such as bovine TB, a lack of access to finance, and a failure to support local procurement have held farmers back.

“Going into the new year, we need a clear and sustainable strategy from the Cabinet Secretary to address these issues and to place Welsh farming on the best possible footing as we prepare for our departure from the EU.”


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