7 March 2001
CLA sees little relief for crisis-hit farms

Gordon Brown has done little to help the farming industry through the current foot-and-mouth crisis, despite announcing a 23 billion surplus in this years Budget, claims the Country Land and Business Association.

“Those who serve the farming industry throughout the chain have seen their businesses devastated by the foot-and-mouth outbreak currently ravaging the countryside,” said CLA president Anthony Bosanquet.

“What is needed is a disaster relief programme to help those businesses hit directly by the control measures put in place. At a time when the rural economy must diversify to survive, the government must not abandon businesses trying to do just that.”

The CLA supports the Chancellors decision to cut tax on biodiesel by 20%. But it is surprised that more encouragement was not forthcoming given Tony Blairs commitment to renewable energy. “Parity with the levels of duty charged on fossil fuel based gas is the only fair route,” said Mr Bosanquet.

“It is a step in the right direction. At least 5% of the nations diesel requirement can be produced on our farmland, and would give a boost to the agricultural sector. But biofuels must be given the same tax treatment as road gas,” he added.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Grant Thornton