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Farron attacks Foot and Mouth statement: "It's not enough!"

October 9, 2007 3:00 PM

Tim Farron, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming and DEFRA Select Committee member has attacked Hilary Benn's Commons statement which announced a package of support for beleaguered farmers. Mr Farron, who last week called for the Hill Farm Allowance budget to be doubled, stated that the £8.5m in support that the Secretary of State announced was welcome, but nowhere near sufficient.

The farming industry has had foot and mouth and blue tongue disease to contend with this summer and the NFU estimates that the industry is losing around £2m every day. Mr Farron also called on the Government to carry out an immediate reassessment of the '20 day standstill' rule outside the control zone. With only three or four weeks left in the market season, this rule is seriously damaging farmers' incomes.

Following the announcement, Mr Farron said:

"The package of support measures announced today is not substantial enough to alleviate the financial hardship being suffered by farmers up and down the country.

"The Government should compensate farmers by buying excess stock in order to support prices to ensure that farmers get a fair deal. The Government should also increase the HFA budget by substantially more than they are intending. The Government must shoulder blame for the outbreak of foot and mouth and they therefore have a responsibility to provide the immediate investment to keep Britain Farming."