Politics: Farm incomes plummet

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The Independent Online
FARM INCOMES have been slashed, according to the Government's own figures issued last night, underlining the protests made in the countryside march on London, writes Colin Brown.

Provisional figures show that dairy farmers' net incomes for 1997-98 are likely to be about pounds 19,100 compared with pounds 30,300 for the previous year, a fall of pounds 215 a week, or 36.9 per cent.

Ministry of Agriculture figures show that the biggest slump in net incomes was suffered by cereal farmers, who saw their incomes drop from pounds 40,500 to pounds 24,900, a fall of pounds 15,600 or 38.5 per cent.

Hill farmers, who have been protesting about their dire situation, have the lowest incomes and saw them fall further from pounds 18,700 to pounds 12,200, a drop of pounds 125 a week or 34.7 per cent.