16 August 2001
Haskins acres net 60k subsidy

By FWi staff

TONY BLAIRS “farm Tsar” who claims British farmers are “mollycoddled” by subsidy has admitted that his family farm depends on state aid.

Rural recovery co-ordinator Lord Haskins told the Daily Expressthat his familys 900-acre East Yorkshire farm gets 60,000 a year in subsidy.

The Labour peer said that the farm, run by his son Paul, needs the aid to keep going through hard times.

Another family farm, a 250-acre dairy farm run by another son in Ireland, also receives support.

The outspoken chairman of Northern Foods, chosen by Tony Blair to reform agriculture after foot-and-mouth, was accused of hypocrisy by farmers.

He had outraged producers with claims that they were reliant on state handouts and less enterprising than French counterparts.

Michael Hart of the Small and Family Farms Alliance said: “He is being terribly hypocritical.”

“He should hand back his 60,000 subsidy – otherwise he is a mollycoddled farmer himself.”

Lord Haskins said under his own proposals money would be taken away from large farmers like him and given to smaller producers.

In an editorial the Express said this revelation suggests “there is one rule for government cronies and another for everyone else”.

Lord Haskins met a task force in Cumbria as he began a six-week review of how the area can recover from the virus.

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