AWB abolition causes split

Opinion appears to be split over the merits of the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board.

MPs who voted in favour of abolition – without debate – have been accused of being underhand by Shadow food and farming minister Huw Irranca-Davies.

The wages board has set minimum wage levels for farmworkers in England and Wales for more than 60 years. Mr Irranca-Davies says abolishing it could cost low-paid rural workers and the wider rural economy up to £260m.

However, the NFU says its abolition will bring agriculture alongside other 21st century industries.