FARMERS FOR Action have reacted angrily to a press statement by environment minister Elliot Morley regarding fuel price protests.

Mr Morley described protests as a “simplistic knee-jerk reaction to short-term petrol supply problems”.

He pointed out that over the last ten years the overall cost of motoring has fallen in real terms and argued that there are sound environmental reasons for levying fuel taxes.

“It‘s right that the people who use the most fuel and pollute the atmosphere the most should pay for the damage they are causing,” Mr Morley said.

He urged demonstrators to think carefully about the world situation before heading out with their placards.

“Part of the price increases are driven by nervousness in the markets – threats of disruption won‘t help,” Mr Morley stated.

 FFA chairman David Handley said: “Our present government blatantly encourages food imports via the giant supermarket chains, and aviation fuel ranks as number 1 in air pollution.”

“Mr Morley obviously produces his own food and hence does not need to rely on the haulage industry to bring it to his door.”

“He needs to get a reality check, and as environment minister he should now surely be working with both the agricultural and environment sectors to develop and drive forward alternative fuels so that we can all live the clean lifestyle he purports to represent,” said Mr Handley.