19 August 1998
SNFU urges Nick Brown to visit farms
SCOTTISH National Farmers Union president George Lyons has publicly pleaded for the Government to see first hand what is taking place on Britains farms.
In a column in The Scotsman today, Mr Lyons said: “The Governments lack of understanding or interest in our situation is hard to take.”
Mr Lyon is particularly concerned about the strength of Sterling. He reckoned it is likely to see Scottish net farm incomes slump from last years £280m to an estimated £160m this year.
Peter Chapman, a union vice-president, was equally pessimistic about commodities with both wheat and barley realising half the value they did a few years back.
Mr Chapman lambasted the Scottish Offices failure to pay the last 5% of last years arable aid support, worth some £5m. He was equally critical of the Governments apparent lack of knowledge of what is taking place in milk and pigs.
Mr Lyon concluded: “We are seeing a significant restructuring within the industry. That may be what this Government wants, but at least they should allow those who are quitting to leave with dignity.
The Scotsman 19/08/98 page 27 (Farming & Unit Trusts)