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NFU begins talks on modulation

14 May 1999
NFU begins talks on modulation

THE National Farmers Union has finally asked farmers to consider very carefully whether they want an upper limit on direct support payments to larger farms …more…


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NFU begins talks on modulation

14 May 1999
NFU begins talks on modulation

THE National Farmers Union has finally asked farmers to consider very carefully whether they want an upper limit on direct support payments to larger farms …more…


todays news



Euro1 = £0.6601 £1 = Euro1.5149 
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Breeding to finishing  Breeding to 30kg  Finishing
Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

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ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
Click the logos

      
Making Money out of Beef – MLC report
Click here for a summary
MLC Interactive Beef Management programme



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  • News

NFU begins talks on modulation

14 May 1999
NFU begins talks on modulation

THE National Farmers Union has finally asked farmers to consider very carefully whether they want an upper limit on direct support payments to larger farms …more…


todays news



Euro1 = £0.6560 £1 = Euro1.5244 
Check your pig costs
Free advice at this weeks Pig & Poultry Fair
Breeding to finishing  Breeding to 30kg  Finishing
Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Try the service for free – phone 0181-652 4903
ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
Click the logos

      
Making Money out of Beef – MLC report
Click here for a summary
MLC Interactive Beef Management programme



    Read more on:
  • News

NFU begins talks on modulation

14 May 1999
NFU begins talks on modulation

By Shelley Wright

THE National Farmers Union (NFU) has finally asked farmers to consider very carefully whether they want an upper limit on direct support payments to larger farms.

Smaller farmers had accused union officials of being against the policy, referred to by politicians as modulation.

The smaller producers were worried that modulation would see larger farmers swallow up an unfair proportion of support payments available from Brussels.

But a consultation paper released from NFU headquarters this week highlights the modulation options available to national governments as part of Agenda 2000.

Three possibilities exist, but the NFU believes the complexities of two linking aid to labour units or to a farms gross margin will rule them out.

However, the third option needs very careful consideration, the union says.

It would allow member states to set a ceiling on individual farm payments, at any level they liked, and then cut payments above that by up to 20%.

Money saved would be available for additional support in the member state for early retirement schemes, hill payments, agri-environment projects or forestry schemes.

As part of the EU rural development package, the cash could not be directed to any other programmes, the NFU states.

Farm minister Nick Brown is due to consult the industry in the summer on the modulation option and the NFU wants to have reached an agreed position by then.

If adopted, the paper points out, capping direct payments would affect only arable, beef and sheep farmers.

However, the money saved would be redistributed to potentially all categories of farmers, or to different sectors.

The union also highlights the considerable doubt about how the money would, in practice, be redistributed.

And it emphasises the complication of switching towards a rural development budget where European subsidy payments are matched, in varying amounts, by national governments.

Our understanding is that the money saved by modulation could be transferred as an additional EU contribution to the eligible rural development measures, the document says.

This would then require a matching contribution from the UK Treasury.

In this case, modulation might appear to be an attractive option, because it would result in a net increase in funds available for UK agriculture, the paper states.

However, it seems very likely that the British government would try to avoid this outcome, because it would not wish to increase public spending.

If government tried to ensure that the impact on the UK Treasury was neutral, they would be able to do so by recycling only a portion of the money saved by modulation to rural development.

The paper asks members if they favour modulation and if so, what ceiling should apply and what proportion of direct payments should be withheld.

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