According to studies on agricultural mental health, excessive paperwork is commonly cited as a top stressor. With one study finding that 62% of farmers struggle with paperwork and 56% have trouble understanding forms.
Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:
“In my conversations with farmers, the common theme that has popped up time and time again is how much stress has been caused by the constantly changing policy landscape in Wales.
In the space of only a few years, our farmers have had to deal with a host of paperwork and financial stresses from:
· The fallout from Brexit.
· The mapping difficulties and payments issues surrounding the Habitat Wales scheme.
· The pain of the TB disease and the excessive paperwork on testing.
· The SFS scheme and the concerns over sustainability.
· The recent land valuation tax forms that have been suddenly sent out to farmers letter boxes.
Numerous studies have found that the main cause of stress for many farmers is excessive paperwork. And with the current amount of bureaucratic red tape weighing farmers down, this should hardly come as a surprise.
The agricultural sector is already facing an uncertain future thanks to the failings of Brexit and the chaos caused by the climate crisis, so it would be inhumane to add further pressure on an already strained industry.
My message to the Welsh Government is this, it’s time to lift the stress on our farmers before it is too late.”
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