Farmers 'let down' by ministers, says Charles - Sunday Telegraph
"The Government is jeopardising Britain's rural communities by failing to give proper support to farmers, says the Prince of Wales.
The "guardians of our countryside" have been let down and face a bleak future, he says in a veiled attack on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and its handling of agricultural policies.
In a letter to a farming charity, he said farmers were enduring "some of the toughest times in living memory" because of the fiasco over missing subsidy payments that has left many facing ruin."
"More than 116,000 farmers across the country were supposed to have received their subsidies by mid-2006. By February this year, however, 25,000 cases were still under review, with the sums involved ranging from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands. About 10,000 farmers have not yet received anything.
This has cost debt-ridden farmers big sums in bank interest, and contributed to a huge rise in the numbers struggling to survive. Calls to the Farm Crisis Network from farmers asking for financial and psychiatric help rose by 60 per cent last year to the highest level since the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001."
Defra has been one of the government's more spectacularly poorly performing departments...)o: - The Department of Health is the worst...)o:
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