13 November 2000
Flood aid for farmers?
By FWi staff
THE government is considering a compensation package for farmers hit by flood damage in the last few weeks, Chancellor Gordon Brown has revealed.
The recent spate of floods across the country has cost the farmers millions of pounds through damage to land and equipment and loss of livestock.
Mr Brown confirmed that he is considering an aid package. He will discuss with agriculture minister Nick Brown what can be done to help affected farmers.
“I think we will have to look at a situation where many of the fields are flooded,” he told BBC 1s Breakfast with Frost on Sunday (12 November).
“We have to be aware that these are unique floods. They are causing a huge amount of damage and the government stands ready to help.”
Further details of any aid are unknown. But the chancellors view that the floods are unique could pave the way for a one-off emergency package.
Although the floods are slowly receding in parts of the country, large areas of the south of England remain under threat from high water.
In Wales, one Gwent farmer is reported to have lost 141 ewe lambs swept away by strong flood water. Another farmer has lost 40 sheep.
Bob Parry, president of the Farmers Union of Wales said: “The long-term impact on farmland and livestock must be examined carefully.”
The Environment Agency has warned that flooding could continue into April even with average rainfall, because the water table in many regions is so high.
High November rainfall – blamed by some people on global warming – has sparked extra interest in a United Nations convention on climate change.
The conference started in the Netherlands on Monday (13 November).
Around 150 world leaders are due to continue negotiations on how to reduce emissions that threaten the stability of the global climate.