I have pledged my support to the Tenant Farmers Association campaign aimed at encouraging average lengths of term on farm business tenancies to be raised from current levels of less than four years to over 10 years. I have signed Early Day Motion 760 urging for more action to be taken.
Currently, the average length of farm business tenancies in England and Wales is less than 4 years. This allows the landowners to demand high rents as demand for land is outstripping supply. Moreover, landowners benefit from very little risk whilst at the same time pocketing generous and unconstrained tax benefits.
The short-term nature of tenancies is holding back progression, investment and sustainable land use. The Government needs to implement change now.
I am calling on the Government to clamp down on those land owners using share farming, contract farming, share partnerships and grazing licences as thin veneers of trading activity to gain tax advantage when in practice they take no risk, have no entrepreneurial input and lack any management control.
Farm Business Tenancies have been too short for too long and now is the time for that to change.
Agriculture is an important industry in Flintshire and many people are being negatively impacted by short-term tenancies. I want to see fairness across the agricultural industry and that means that the Government should take action to reform Farm Business Tenancies.
Failure to help tenant farmers will continue to hit our agricultural sector hard.