40m is not enough, say landowners

18 October 2001

40m is not enough, say landowners

By FWi staff

A 40m rural recovery fund recommended by Lord Haskins to help restore the countryside after foot-and-mouth is too small, claim landowners.

The Country Land and Business Association said the Labour peer failed to acknowledge the scale of the crisis and his proposals did not go far enough.

In contrast, the Rural Task Force report on the same subject, published on the same day, said CLA president Anthony Bosanquet.

Mr Bosanquet acknowledged that Lord Haskins had “largely reached the most appropriate conclusions” but insisted that more help is needed.

“The 40m of Rural Recovery Fund money is likely to enable fewer than 3000 businesses nationwide to receive the assistance they actually need.”

The CLA claims to represent about 50,000 landowners and rural businesses. It has previously called for a 300m foot-and-mouth recovery package.

Mr Bosanquet said the Rural Task Force report “tells us that there is already 158m of unpaid VAT, National Insurance and income tax.

“In addition, the CLA believes that there are 12,000 businesses who have not been able to pay their rates since the start of foot-andmouth.”

Mr Bosanquet urged the government to address both the reports together rather than independently of one another.

Ministers must deliver effective measures now, including financial support, to meet the scale of the crisis, he added.

“Without further help thousands of businesses are unlikely to make it through to next Spring, just when we need to re-launch the countryside.”


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