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Make them pay say Conservatives as fears persist over farm payments

[Thursday 02 November 2006]
dales farm
Tories demand prompt payments for farmers

"MAKE them pay" - that is the message from the Conservative party this week as fears persist among farming communities across the Yorkshire Dales and beyond that the Government will allow the farm payments scheme to descend into chaos for the second year running.

The Tories have launched a campaign and petition that if successful will see Single Payment cheques landing on farmers' doormats sooner rather than later.

The "Make Them Pay by Christmas Day" campaign seeks to put pressure on the Government to sort out the fiasco of the Rural Payments Agency. It has been endorsed by the National Farmers' Union, the Tenant Farmers Association, and the Country Land and Business Association.

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, this week added her backing to campaign which, she says, is designed to give justice to all English farmers and ensure they receive at least 80 per cent of their Single Farm Payments by December 25th.

Miss McIntosh remarked: "The failure of last year's Single Farm Payment Scheme has been a complete disaster for farmers across North Yorkshire and the whole of England. It has left many contemplating leaving the industry and many more suffering anxiety and stress.

"The Make Them Pay by Christmas Day campaign aims to force the Government to make these payments and relieve some of the financial strain faced now by farmers."

The central plank of the campaign is an online petition that anyone is welcome to sign. It can be found at www.conservatives.com/makethempay

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