Row over virus recovery package

1 October 2001

Row over virus recovery package

By FWi staff

A ROW has broken out over the scale of the recovery package needed for rural areas worst affected by foot-and-mouth, reports The Times.

A draft paper from the Rural Recovery Task Force suggests 250 million is needed in countries such as Cumbria, Devon and Northumberland, it says.

But Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael believes it is a matter for the Treasury and does not wish to name a specific sum, the paper reports.

Rural groups are alarmed at this position, and are calling for the task force to outline the extent of problems faced by rural businesses, it adds.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) wants a minimum commitment of 300m.

“I dont think the stakes for the economy in rural areas could be much higher,” The Times quotes CLA president Anthony Bosanquet as saying.

At least 200mn is needed to boost business recovery, 30m to convert rate deferment into relief and 70m for farmers markets and market towns.

Disagreement over the package is likely to surface during the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week, The Times believes.

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