Perth and North Perthshire MP, Pete Wishart, has blasted the handling of the pilot scheme for farmers to access seasonal workers as ‘woefully inadequate’. This comes as the former farming minister has used urged the Conservative Government to extend the current pilot scheme.
Former farming minister, George Eustice MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for his own government to go further in terms of numbers of non-EU migrant workers that farmers will be able to recruit in a pilot scheme that he helped design.
Speaking today (Tuesday 16th April), Mr Wishart said:
“I have long said that the announced pilot scheme doesn’t go nearly far enough, so to have the minister who would have had some responsibility in drawing it up calling for greater access to seasonal workers is quite remarkable.
“Farmers and growers in my constituency have already expressed their concerns about the woefully inadequate number of workers that this scheme proposes. 2,500 workers are clearly not nearly enough for the entirety of the UK and even the former minister accepts the Tories have failed farmers with these proposals.
“It is time that the UK Government listened to calls from the agricultural sector and to voices across all political parties, who are calling for this scheme to be extended to give farmers and growers the certainty that they need so that they can get our world-renowned produce from field to fork on time.”