THE Government retirement plan is risking the future of farming in the county, claims Cumbrian MP Tim Farron.

Last month the Government announced a new retirement scheme to support farmers who wish to leave the industry, freeing up land for new entrants.

However in response to a Written Parliamentary Question from Mr Farron, the Farming Minister Victoria Prentis revealed that no analysis has actually been done on the number expected to take up the scheme, nor how many new entrants will replace them.

Instead, the Government just say that they “think” that new workers will enter the industry, says Mr Farron.

Mr Farron said: “This is massively concerning. Cumbria’s farmers already face huge uncertainty thanks to the Conservatives’ failure to protect animal welfare standards in the trade deal with Australia and the cuts to farm support payments without the replacement even being ready.”

He added: “Now the Government is actively encouraging farmers to leave the industry, with no idea who will replace them.

“But we know this isn’t happening by accident. The Government’s refusal to step in and save Newton Rigg College shows how little they care about the future of farming in places like Cumbria.”