Farmers' incomes up by a third

NICHOLAS SCHOON

Farmers' incomes soared by one-third last year. It is the fourth year running that agricultural incomes have grown in real terms - and they are expected to rise again appreciably this year. The farmers' rapidly rising prosperity comes after a decade of decline.

The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday said farming income, which covers only farmers and their spouses, had risen by 34 per cent between 1994 and 1995 - or 29 per cent in real terms - to just over pounds 4bn.

The depreciation of the pound against European currencies and the high world price of cereals have helped boost income.

n Pay rises enjoyed by chief executives at National Health Service trusts are running at twice the rate awarded to nurses, according to the latest returns. Union leaders yesterday registered their anger over research which showed that while the total earnings of the senior administrators increased by 7.6 per cent in the year to last March, nursing staff saw their average total pay rise by just 3.2 per cent.

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