The Secretary of State yesterday announced that the 2023/24 Resource budget allocation for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) would be Pound 579.8million.
The largest element of DAERA's Resource budget for 2023-24 is ring-fenced funding of Pound 327.2m for agriculture, agri-environment, and the wider rural economy, and Pound 3.1m for fisheries. This funding was previously confirmed by HMT and was not subject to cuts and it cannot be used for other purposes.
The budget allocation for 2023-24 results in a 1.5% cut to the rest of the Department's Resource budget at a time when there are significant financial pressures associated with the cost-of-living crisis, the rise in bovine TB and several other factors. It is clear therefore that delivering the Department's statutory obligations and contractual commitments and our new statutory requirements, including those in the Climate Change Act, will be exceptionally challenging, with difficult decisions likely to be needed.
The Department will be assessing the implications of the budget announcement over the coming days and will be in a position to say more shortly.