28 June 2002

Curry pleads for cash

DONALD Curry is hoping a last-minute meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair will help persuade the Treasury to come up with the £500m needed to fund the policy commissions report on the future of farming.

The chairman of the policy commission has requested a meeting with Mr Blair ahead of the governments Spending Review in July when it will set out funding plans for government departments for the next three years.

Sir Donald also held talks with Treasury chief secretary Paul Boateng on Tuesday (June 25), where he stressed what the implications for the countryside would be if the government did not find the money in the review.

After the meeting with Mr Boateng – second in command at the Treasury – Sir Donald reported that it had been a valuable exercise.

"He was sympathetic to our view without committing himself. But we did get a very good hearing." &#42