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And a Happy New Year to Mr Miliband

Telegraph | News | No further aid for food, minister to tell farmers

Farmers in the future will not be given any support for food production, the Environment Secretary, David Miliband, will say today. Instead they will be helped to maintain landscapes and tackle climate change....

He is likely to face a hostile reception because the latest Government figures show that the green farming schemes that he believes will continue to be key to the reform of European farm policy have been hit by a version of the late payment fiasco that happened to English farmers' subsidy cheques last year.

Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show that more than 28 per cent of the farmers who should have been paid in November for carrying out work such as installing skylark plots and planting hedges have not yet....

Farmers enter into a 10-year contract with the Government,...Payment was due on Nov 15 ...

The scheme is administered by the Rural Development Service, which comes under the new agency Natural England. But the RDS has similar problems with its Genesis software to those that plagued the Rural Payments Agency and its mapping system.

Officials at Natural England were unable to explain where the IT problem lay because those responsible were not working between Christmas and New Year.

Lucky them sat at home stuffing themselves with cheap turkey and sprouts on their extensive annual holidays while the poor bloody farmers are trying to balance their books having had their contrat with the government welched on yet again, the bank doesn't stop charging interest, nor the suppliers demanding payment because it is the twelve bloody days of Christmas. If they have cocked up they should stay at their desks until it is put right - and that includes the smiling boy wonder Mr Miliband.


Are farmers deserving of hand-outs? Can I have some money if I convert my back bedroom into a skylark plot?
When farmers moan about their dole payments (which is what these payments are) think of the poor people paying for then out of their taxes - many are more worst off than the farmers receiving the payments.

TE - This isn't about handouts - it is about the Government agreeing with a business man that if he spends the time and money to plant a hedge, create a sky lark plot or what ever then he will be paid for doing so, and then nto paying him as per the agreement.

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