Lib-Dems predict more modulation

25 September 2001

Lib-Dems predict more modulation

By Isabel Davies in Bournemouth

THE Government will increase modulation and introduce different rates according to farm size, the Liberal Democrats farm spokesman has predicted.

Colin Breed told a fringe meeting at the Lib-Dem conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday (25 September) he believed modulation would be redefined to raise more money for agri-environment schemes.

He told the meeting, jointly hosted by the Country Land and Business Association and the Countryside Agency that he would be behind such a move.

“We need tiered modulation to generate more money”, he said.

“I think it will come because the current flat rate is producing relatively small amounts of money.”

Responding to the comment, David Fursdon, Chairman of the CLA legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, said the organisation would oppose such a move.

He said the CLA was not in favour of tiered modulation because larger payments reflected the larger amounts of land managed.

Events in the USA and the possible repercussions have largely pushed agriculture to the fringes of the conference.

On Monday, the National Farmers Union hosted a meeting attended by Malcolm Bruce MP and NFU vice president Michael Paske.

On Tuesday evening the National Consumer council hosts a session called Food and farming policy: Time for fresh ingredients?

A consultative session titled Rural futures ha been scheduled in the main conference programme for Wednesday morning, 26 September.

The aim of this is to generate new ideas which can be fed through into Lib-Dem farm and rural policy.

An official said it would be an information session and farm spokesman Colin Breed would not make a formal speech to the conference.

See more