10 April 1998

£4085 for a desk

FARM minister, Jack Cunninghams, new desk cost £4085 + VAT – the equivalent of six months income for a hill farm.

Dr Cunningham said the desk he had been using was unsuitable and had been left behind by a retired official. And he added that no other desk met his needs.

But for the cost of his desk Dr Cunningham could have paid for:

&#8226 A hill farming familys living for six months.

&#8226 10 producers to convert to organic production over a five-year period.

&#8226 Creation and improvement of 2km (1.25 miles) of hedgerow.

&#8226 Enough personal protective equipment for 39 sheep dippers.

&#8226 128 prime lambs.