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Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

18 March 1999
Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

AGRICULTURE Minister Nick Brown told disappointed farmers yesterday that he was committed to pressing for more reductions in European farm subsidies …more…



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Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

18 March 1999
Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

AGRICULTURE Minister Nick Brown told disappointed farmers yesterday that he was committed to pressing for more reductions in European farm subsidies …more…



The recent increase in the use of FWi has far exceeded our expectations. This has meant that, at certain times, some users may experience a problem requesting pages. We are currently upgrading the hardware to accommodate this increase and this work will be completed by 19 March. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

todays news



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Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Try the service for free – phone 0181-652 4903
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Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

18 March 1999
Brown committed to more subsidy cuts

By Jonathan Riley

AGRICULTURE Minister Nick Brown told disappointed farmers yesterday (Wednesday) that he was committed to pressing for more reductions in European farm subsidies.

Despite strong opposition at home and abroad, Mr Brown said he would push for a gradual further reduction in subsidies, a policy known as “degressivity”.

The policy was rejected by 11 out of the 15 European Union (EU) countries prior to last weeks agreement on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

But Mr Brown told the National Farmers Union council in London that he remains hopeful that degressivity could still be included in the CAP reform package.

Further fundamental reform was needed to meet the “remorseless drive for freer trade” from third countries, he said.

“Some member states remain wedded to the CAPs philosophy of keeping prices up and keeping imports out with trade barriers,” said Mr Brown.

“More reforms are needed so that the EU can approach the next round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks from a credible negotiating position.”

Mr Brown said degressivity would strengthen the EUs position and any money saved could be transferred to a second pillar of the CAP for rural development.

If the EU failed to look ahead and introduce changes gradually then change would be forced on it by the WTO, he warned.

Mr Brown admitted disappointment at the German presidencys timidity in broaching reform, but said the eventual reform package was meaningful and welcome.

He also claimed success in steering other members states away from introducing ceilings on farm payments.

But NFU President Ben Gill said that, unlike Mr Brown, he would prefer to see the reform package go through without the inclusion of degressivity.

Other NFU members voiced concern at the existing reform package.

Michael Lambert, chairman of the NFU milk committee, said he did not share Mr Browns enthusiasm for a reform which saw a 15% reduction in dairy support.

David Williams, chairman of the NFU livestock committee, expressed his concern that stocking density limits would hit efficient farms.

New calculations for stocking rates in extensification payments would only add to bureaucracy and costs, he said.

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