2 March 2000
Government help not ruled out — Gill

NFU president Ben Gill insists the Prime Minister has not ruled out short-term help for farming, despite what many people may have thought.

Many observers believed Tony Blairs speech at last months NFU annual general meeting indicated that no “quick-fix” aid would be forthcoming.

But as he embarks on a tour of speaking engagements to push for short-term aid, Mr Gill said this was not the case.

“I wish everyone would listen to what was said at the annual conference and not what they read in the papers,” Mr Gill told the Radio 4 programme.

He said the Prime Minister had indicated there would be no short-term fixes to reduce the strength of Sterling.

But Mr Blair did not rule out short-term aid in certain areas such as the pig sector.

Mr Gill said he would be asking people to put the case for compensation to political representatives across the country.

He said short-term aid was necessary to offset agrimonetary consequences and BSE related costs.

Meanwhile, hundreds of pig farmers continued to lobby the government at the Houses of Parliament, and more than one thousand dairy farmers marched in the north-west of England, on Wednesday (01 March).

The dairy farmers are telling the public they want a bigger share of the price of a pinta. Their share has gone down from 50% five years ago to “0% now.

A roadshow will continue across the country, culminating in a mass rally outside the Houses of Parliament on 15 March.