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Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

12 March 1999
Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

FARMERS could face further subsidy cuts in addition to those agreed by European agriculture ministers in Brussels this week, it has emerged …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.

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Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

12 March 1999
Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

FARMERS could face further subsidy cuts in addition to those agreed by European agriculture ministers in Brussels this week, it has emerged …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 March 19. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

todays news



Euro = £0.6694 
Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Try the service for free – phone 0181-652 4903



    Read more on:
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Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

12 March 1999
Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

FARMERS could face further subsidy cuts in addition to those agreed by European agriculture ministers in Brussels this week, it has emerged …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 March 19. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

todays news



Euro = £0.6694 
Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Try the service for free – phone 0181-652 4903



    Read more on:
  • News

Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

12 March 1999
Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

FARMERS could face further subsidy cuts in addition to those agreed by European agriculture ministers in Brussels this week, it has emerged …more…
todays news



Euro = £0.6694 
Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Try the service for free – phone 0181-652 4903



    Read more on:
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Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

12 March 1999
Farmers could face more subsidy cuts

By Johann Tasker

FARMERS could face further subsidy cuts in addition to those agreed by European agriculture ministers in Brussels this week, it has emerged.

Despite major reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), ministers could be forced to announce more savings before the end of the month.

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown described this weeks reforms as the “most radical” since the inception of the CAP during the 1960s.

But within hours he was embarrassed by a Downing Street spokesman who said that the Brussels agreement did not go far enough.

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) promises to reduce support for cereals and dairy by 20% and support for beef by 15%.

But in reaching agreement, European agriculture ministers watered down proposals and ruled out an upper limit on subsidies for larger farms.

That means the cost of changes designed to reduce the cost of farm subsidies threatens to actually boost the EU budget.

The budget must be reduced for Brussels to honour its promise of EU membership for central European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Unless expenditure is at least stable, extending the CAP to those countries will be unaffordable for the EUs existing 15 member states.

The government here would like to reduce CAP spending rather than face relinquishing Britains annual EU rebate of £2 billion.

But European Commission statistics show that the CAP reforms agreed over the past few days are likely to boost the EU budget by £3.4bn.

Agricultural spending could also have been cut had European ministers reduced payments to farmers on a yearly basis – a concept known as “degressivity”.

Degressivity would have exempted producers now receiving less than £3400 a year in subsidies but would have saved £3bn annually.

The omission of the cost-saving measures from the CAP reform has thus angered the British government which is now likely to press for more cuts.

“We certainly do not see this [reform agreement] as the end of the road,” a Downing Street spokesman told the Reuters newswire.

“It is not as radical as we would like it to be.”

The exclusion of degressivity from the reform packageis at least partly tribute to the lobbying power of the UK National Farmers Union (NFU).

Although the policy would leave an estimated 70% of European farmers unaffected, bigger farmers in the UK would suffer much bigger cuts.

NFU President Ben Gill was keen to point out that the £3bn degressivity would have saved is still well short of the annual cuts the EU needs to make.

But he has now warned: “I dont believe degressivity is dead and buried.”

Mr Gill said he believed that European heads of government could consider degressivity again when they meet in Berlin on 24-25 March.

Such a possibility has been ruled out by Karl-Heinz Funke, the German agriculture minister who is also president of the European Farm Council.

But French Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany believes that more reforms could be in the pipeline.

“For me the work remains unfinished,” he said. “There is a risk that the [existing] agreement will founder on the financial aspects.”

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