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NFU Modulation is bad for you

18 June 1999
NFU — Modulation is bad for you

SENIOR members of the National Farmers Union are trying to persuade small-scale farmers to stop calling for a limit on farm subsidy payments …more…


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NFU Modulation is bad for you

18 June 1999
NFU — Modulation is bad for you

SENIOR members of the National Farmers Union are trying to persuade small-scale farmers to stop calling for a limit on farm subsidy payments …more…


todays news



 on GM crops – CLICK HERE

Euro1 = £0.6481 £1 = Euro1.5430 
Help a child and win a Fastrac
ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
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    Read more on:
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NFU Modulation is bad for you

18 June 1999
NFU — Modulation is bad for you

SENIOR members of the National Farmers Union are trying to persuade small-scale farmers to stop calling for a limit on farm subsidy payments …more…


todays news



 on GM crops – CLICK HERE

Euro1 = £0.6481 £1 = Euro1.5430 
Help a child and win a Fastrac
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NFU Modulation is bad for you

18 June 1999
NFU — Modulation is bad for you

By Jonathan Riley

SENIOR members of the National Farmers Union (NFU) are trying to persuade small-scale farmers to stop calling for a limit on farm subsidy payments.

Many family farmers, especially in south-west England, want the government to restrict the amount of money that large holdings receive in subsidies.

They argue that big farms receive too much money under a payment system which unfairly favours large agribusinesses at the expense of small family farms.

A limit on payments, known as modulation, could be implemented within the Agenda 2000 reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy.

But senior NFU members claim family farmers are wrong to think that any money saved from modulation could then be transferred to smaller holdings.

“The belief amongst small-scale farmers that modulation would transfer payments from large farms to smaller ones is mistaken,” said Martin Haworth, NFU policy director.

Speaking at the NFU council meeting in London on Wednesday (16 June), Mr Haworth said any money saved by modulation would have to fund rural development schemes.

“Schemes such as early retirement, environmental schemes, Less Favoured Areas and aforestation initiatives are the only ones which would comply for the saved cash.

“Only a small percentage of farmers would qualify for this money and these would not necessarily be small-scale businesses.”

Mr Haworth added his concern that money for rural development schemes had to be matched equally by the UK Treasury while direct subsidies were sourced entirely from Brussels.

“MAFF will, therefore, have to persuade the Treasury to put up funds for these schemes and we could end up losing the money saved altogether, leading to net loss for British farming,” he said.

“This would put us at a competitive disadvantage with the other member states which have rejected modulation.

Ben Gill, NFU president, asked council representatives to report on the attitudes of farmers during the NFUs consultation on modulation.

Although many regions are strongly opposed to modulation, NFU members in Wales, North West, West Midlands and the South West regions have not finalised their submissions.

Mr Haworth urged those farmers to voice their opposition to modulation.

“We must not deliver a mixed message,” he said. “We must be united against modulation.”

But Brian Jennings, a council delegate from the south-west, cautioned against the NFU rejecting modulation before the consultation period had ended.

“We must not discourage producers from putting their views across by giving them the impression it is too late,” he said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture told Farmers Weekly that agriculture minister Nick Brown was not an advocate of modulation.

But Mr Brown was keen to listen to the widest range of farmer viewpoints possible on the subject, the spokesman added.

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