30 March 1999
CAP cost to rise before falling — Blair

By FWi staff

TONY Blair has admitted that the watered-down reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will cost taxpayers more before it costs less.

In a Commons statement yesterday (Monday), Mr Blair claimed that last weeks talks between European heads of government had achieved “significant” CAP reform.

But agricultural spending by 2006 would rise by 2% in real terms above next years level before eventually falling, Mr Blair conceded.

The CAP reforms agreed in Berlin would eventually save each British family of four about £65 a year, he said.

Opposition Leader William Hague claimed that the Government had failed to secure adequate reforms that would enable Central European countries to join the EU.