17 April 1997

NFU to keep pushing for £ compensation

THE NFU plans to step up pressure on the government to compensate farmers for the strong £.

"We will keep pushing for compensation particularly if there is another revaluation of the green £ on May 3," said NFU president, Ben Gill.

Farmers were bearing the brunt of the strongest £ for more than 10 years and many were now in deep, deep trouble, he added. But the government refused to acknowledge the problem.

Part of the difficulty stemmed from the divergent British economy, comprising the traded (manufacturing) sector and the services sector.

Although the services sector was still buoyant, government should not ignore the consequences of allowing the traded sector to fall into deep recession, Mr Gill warned.

During its six-month presidency of the EU, the UK government should press for the identification of the president of the new European Central Bank. That would give more credence to the euro and take the heat out of the £, said Mr Gill.

The governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, should also clarify the future of interest rates, he added. &#42