10 November 2001

Cheque-ing out

An IACS cheque or environmental bonus in 2006?

The Government intends to abolish farming support. Tom Allen-Stevens asks four experts for their verdict

AT the Labour party conference a month ago, Elliott Morley delivered the strongest indication from any rural minister to date that DEFRA is looking for an end to subsidies. Surely you mean production subsidies, countered NFU president Ben Gill. "When I say there will be an end to subsidies I mean it. They have to go and they will go," said Mr Morley.

So where does such strong language leave the IACS cheque? In five years time, running up to the next election, will you have to struggle on without it, will it have evolved into an environmental payment, or will things have stayed largely as they are?