12 October 1998
Government prepares to come to aid of farmers
By FWi staff
AGRICULTURE minister Nick Brown has again signalled that he is ready to offer aid to farmers.
Mr Brown repeated comments that farmers had made a “persuasive case” for more targeted help to solve the crisis in agriculture.
Speaking to BBCs On the Record programme, Mr Brown said: “What I have to do is ensure that any assistance that is given – and resources are pretty limited – is targeted at the immediate crisis and it does not in the long-term make matters worse.
“Our agenda towards liberalisation of the market is clearly the way forward.”
Mr Brown said the package could include extending the cattle subsidy to BSE-hit farmers. The Government is also considering seeking money from the European agriculture compensation fund.
Mr Brown said he would speak to the major supermarkets about complaints that they not passing on the benefits of buying meat cheap to consumers before making up his own mind.
But he refused to urge people to eat British meat, saying that the UK had obligations toward its European partners.