17 July 1997
Blair seeks to cut BSE costs
The prime minister insisted today it was essential to reduce the cost of BSE compensation payments to farmers.
He was replying at Commons question time to Liberal Democrat Paul Tyler (Cornwall N), who warned that a critical situation was developing in cattle markets because of a reduction in compensation payments and the consequent collapse in beef prices.
He demanded: Would your ministers be prepared to meet those of us from livestock areas who have this crisis on our doorstep?
In reply, Mr Blair said he was sure that farm minister Jack Cunningham would will be prepared to meet anyone with a concern over this issue.
The prime minister told the House: The problem is that it is necessary to try to get the costs of the compensation scheme down, because those costs are going to rise over a period of time to somewhere in the region of 4 billion. It is essential we try to reduce those costs.
By Stephen Alderman, PA News