The Tenant Farmers Association’s National Chairman Reg Haydon
has written to new DEFRA Secretary of State David Miliband to welcome
him to his new post.
“Mrs Beckett’s departure from DEFRA was no surprise
to us, however we had felt that Mr Blair would have prepared a
comfortable chair for her to occupy in the House of Lords rather
than elevating her to Foreign Secretary. What is certain is that
she will have left anything but a clean desk on her departure.
I have explained to Mr Miliband that there are many issues that
need to be taken forward as a matter of urgency”, said Mr
Top of that list of issues is the continuing problem with the 2005
Single Payment Scheme. Many farmers are still waiting payments
that they would normally have received in the autumn of last year
and were promised by the end of March this year.
“The grief, stress and financial burden being suffered by
these farmers is devastating. I have asked Mr Miliband to press
ahead with interim payments to ensure that they are out within
the next two weeks. Farmers should not be left beyond the end of
this month without receiving a payment”, said Mr Haydon.
Other issues which the TFA has raised as needing urgent attention
include, the 2006 Single Payment Scheme, bovine TB, agricultural
tenancy reform, Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and the review of the
Hill Farm Allowance Scheme.
“I have expressed my wish that under Mr Miliband’s
leadership we will see a greater engagement from the Secretary
of State in matters affecting agriculture than we have experienced
to date and I hope to meet him soon”, said Mr Haydon.
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