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Farron quizzes Secretary of State on Hill Farm top up

October 25, 2007 3:00 PM

Tim Farron, Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming questioned the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn on the adequacy of the Hill Farm Allowance top up. Mr Farron, who yesterday called on Mr Benn to ensure that the HFA top up was delivered on time, asked if he thought the amount pledged was sufficient given many farmers' circumstances.

Mr Farron said:

"Given that the Hill Farm Allowance top up is only likely to be around £800-£1,000, and most farmers in my constituency have suffered losses of thousands of pounds more than that, does the Secretary of State think that the current top up is sufficient?"

Responding, Hilary Benn said:

"I recognise that the amount does not cover it all, and it is not our business to be providing 100% compensation."

After DEFRA Questions, Tim Farron stated:

"The Government is clearly culpable in this instance and has caused the farming community to lose countless millions. For them to flatly refuse to consider increasing the top up is an absolute disgrace."