Chancellor slashes 135 million from MAFF budget - Farmers Weekly

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Chancellor slashes 135 million from MAFF budget

14 July 1998
Chancellor slashes £135 million from MAFF budget

CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has wiped £135m from the MAFFs 1999-2000 budget in his long-awaited Comprehensive Spending Review.

It will have its 1998-99 budget slashed from £1.419 billion to £1.284 billion in 1999-2000 – a cut of £135 million or 9.5%.

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Chancellor slashes 135 million from MAFF budget

14 July 1998
Chancellor slashes £135 million from MAFF budget

By Boyd Champness

CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has wiped £135m from the MAFFs 1999-2000 budget in his long-awaited Comprehensive Spending Review.

It will have its 1998-99 budget slashed from £1.419 billion to £1.284 billion in 1999-2000 – a cut of £135 million or 9.5%.

MAFFs 2000-2001 budget will be cut by a further £61million from £1.284 billion to £1.223 billion. It will then be increased by £33 million in 2001-2002 from £1.223 billion to £1.256 billion.

Mr Browns White Paper was unveiled in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The initial response from MAFF gives no explanation to the severity of the cuts other than to say: “The reduction in spending reflects decreasing BSE support as confidence is restored and the Governments determination to bring support to the farming industry to a more sustainable long term level.”

The key targets to be delivered by MAFF before the end of this Parliament include:

  • Set up of the Food Standards Agency and the establishment of a new role for MAFF,

  • Resolve the problem of BSE and take action against other animal diseases,

  • Press for reform of the Common Agriculture Policy and reduce its cost to consumers and taxpayers,

  • Work to sustain and enhance an attractive and accessible countryside,

  • Encourage the restructuring of the farming and fishing industries.

    Dr Cunningham, agriculture minister, said: “Protecting consumers and caring for the environment are top priorities. We will also focus on consumer needs. This is the only way to restore confidence in food, which, in turn, will benefit farming.”

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