30 May 1997

No decision on currency claim

GOVERNMENT ministers have not yet reached a decision on the NFUs claim for compensation for recent currency revaluations.

At a meeting with junior farm minister Lord Donoughue last week, NFU leader, Sir David Naish, presented details of the NFUs claim for a £508m aid package to cover the income loss associated with the two UK revaluations already triggered this year.

The figure, which would be paid over three years and funded jointly by the UK and EU, was determined using the EU commissions method of calculating loss of income resulting from agrimonetary revaluations. Half the money, £254m, would be paid in the first year, with the same amount then split over the following two.

But despite Sir David stressing the urgent need for the cash, there is no sign of a quick decision from the new government. On Wednesday, a MAFF official would only say that ministers and officials were still studying the compensation claim.

The NFU estimates the revaluations will cut £420m from the value of agricultural output over the next 12 months. And another revaluation, expected on June 5, will compound the problems.

"A full compensation package must be implemented swiftly, otherwise UK farmers could lose out to their EU competitors, whose own governments have paid similar packages," Sir David said.

&#8226 Irish farm minister, Ivan Yates, has announced details of a £46m package for dairy and arable farmers to compensate them for green £ revaluations, the Irish Farmers Journal reports. &#42