MAFF to slash hill subsidy

THE Ministry of Agriculture is planning to cut hill farm subsidies by £60 million a year, according to economists at the National Farmers Union.

The cuts are predicted on the basis that subsidies from 2001 will be paid on an area basis rather than on livestock numbers.

Subsidies will be based on payments made in 1996, not now.

Farmers in England are forecast to lose £20m of the total £60m cut.

Ben Gill, president of the NFU, has urged hill farmers to lodge protests with their MPs.

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