Azara Blog: MPs write another pointless report, this one about hill farming

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Date published: 2011/02/18

The BBC says:

MPs are urging ministers to do more to help hill farmers, saying many are struggling for a "decent" living and their plight hurts rural communities.

The cross-party environment select committee said livestock farming was vital to preserving landscapes.

But "hard-pressed" farmers needed help to diversify into new areas and direct payments linked to livestock numbers may need to be reintroduced, it argued.

Ministers said they were committed to "affordable" measures to help farmers.

In its report, the committee said the industry was under pressure and that tenant farmers in remote areas were having a "particularly hard time".

Obviously this report could have been written at any time in the last N years for some large N (and has been written several times). It is bizarre that MPs are daft enough to write about "preserving landscapes". It is a landscape that has been created by humans, and it makes little sense that the country should be throwing vast quantities of money at these farmers just because the current generation of comfortable middle class hill walkers thinks that the current landscape is quaint and so should be preserved in aspic. There is no reason not to let it go wild.

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