Thursday, 11 October 2007

Is it 'cos we is Welsh?

Er, no. The Welsh and the Scots have not been disproportionately penalised by the UK Government over help for farmers affected by the foot and mouth outbreak.

Before history is re-written it should perhaps be pointed out that farmers in England have failed to secure a penny from the Treasury in extra compensation for the foot and mouth outbreak.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has had to find the money from the existing English agriculture budget - as his counterparts in Cardiff and Edinburgh have had to raid their own budgets to fund packages.

Mr Benn too failed to persuade the Treasury to cough up new cash.

There are separate arguments to be had over whether the UK Government should cough up as the outbreak has been linked to a government laboratory and to why the mooted Treasury package (£12m for England, £8.1m for Scotland and £6.5m for Wales) didn't materialise.

Is it 'cos there's no general election? Mr Benn said:"There is not a word of truth in the allegation that a possible election had anything to do with decisions on funding for the foot-and-mouth crisis, and I very much regret that this is being used in this way''.

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