David Ford, Alliance Agriculture and Rural Development Spokesman, has criticised the First Minister for his refusal to provide additional funding for agri -environment schemes in Northern Ireland.
In question to the First Minister in the Assembly, David Ford commented on the UUP leaders request to the Prime Minister for interest loan relief. He asked David Trimble to find additional funding for such schemes from executive resources, since it is clear that the UK Government will not agree to the interest loan scheme.
Commenting David Ford said
” It is regrettable that the UUP leader has seen fit to play political games over funding for agriculture, whilst refusing to find funds for agri -environment schemes from Executive resources.”
” Agri – environment could make a direct contribution to farm incomes as well as benefiting the Northern Ireland environment, with spin-off benefits to tourism and economic development. The Executive must redress the failure to provide funding, so that European grants go to farmers, not to the Department.”