Exposed: 1 in 3 Farmers Live Below Low Income Threshold

UK - Conservatives have exposed today that 31 per cent of farmers are living below the low income threshold. The figures, revealed in a parliamentary question, showed that in 2005/06 nearly 1 in 3 farmers had an income that was 60 per cent or less than the national average wage.
calendar icon 22 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Farmers are in dire situation compared to the rest of the country -The figures also showed that farmers were much more likely to live on a low wage than all other households. Only 21 per cent of other employed households and 18 per cent of self-employed were in the same position.

Average farming income halved under Labour – Additional research shows that under Labour, the average income for everyone in the farming industry has fallen from nearly £28,000 in 1996 to less than £14,000 in 2006 and almost 80,000 people have left the agricultural labour force

The effects of RPA – The Government's disastrous handling of the RPA in 2004/05 has had a dramatic effect on the farming industry. Bankruptcies amongst farmers have increased by almost 50% since 2002. Also calls for help to the Farm Crisis Network's helpline in 2006 were 60% higher than in the previous year.

More than one dairy farm a day closes under Labour - 2,125 dairy farms in England have closed since 2002. That is more than one a day

Commenting on the figures, Jim Paice, Shadow Agriculture Minister, said: "This is a sad indictment of 10 years of a Labour Government which has brought a once proud industry to the situation where one-third of farmers live below the low-income threshold.

"This won't be a surprise to those who have suffered but will hopefully bring home to the general public the desperate straits of the farming industry and those who produce our food."

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