Leaders pleas for aid are renewed

8 May 1998

Leaders pleas for aid are renewed

FARMING union representatives and industry leaders have made renewed calls for the government to access EU compensation funds after last weeks green £ revaluation.

The revaluation could cost agriculture £400m in reduced subsidy payments (see Business) and both NFU president Ben Gill, and president of the Scottish NFU George Lyon, have called on the government to apply for £424m of EU compensation which is available to countries that suffer subsidy cuts because of strong currencies.

Mr Gill described the revaluation as another body blow to an industry which was already suffering immensely.

"Farmers have already had their incomes slashed by half and are fighting against the strength of the £, which is hitting exports," said Mr Gill.

While Mr Lyon said: "Our industry is suffering terribly. We cannot stand much more.

He said that government should now use the compensation mechanism available for livestock and cereal sectors.

"Our competitors have already done so. We operate in a single market and we should have equal rights," he said.

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