Reacting to Chancellor Sajid Javid’s Spending Review, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Tim Breitmeyer said the following:

“We wrote to the Chancellor last week outlining what steps are needed to ensure long-term stability for the rural economy in these politically tumultuous times.

“Whilst we understand that this review focuses on the next financial year, we still believe that there are a raft of potential supportive measures which have been ignored. In the short-term we argued for contingency measures to support farming in the case of a no-deal Brexit. In the medium to long-term, we stressed the need to guarantee the current £3.2 billion funding through to the end of the transition period, as well as extra funding for the development and piloting of public goods programmes.

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“In the wider-rural economy we pushed to maintain rural development funding, dedicated and targeted funding for tourism action zones and sufficient funding and support to deliver the Prime Minister’s ambitions for full fibre broadband across the country. All measures which would help unleash the countryside’s untapped potential and deliver a robust rural powerhouse, a bedrock to ensure vibrant rural communities into the future.

“Without targeted support, the Chancellor’s ambition to create the ‘most pro-business and pro-enterprise economy in the world’ runs the risk of falling at the first hurdle and deepening the urban/rural divide.”

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