Hill farmers' returns will benefit this year from the increases in the hill cow, hill sheep and calf subsidies at the last Annual Review and the stronger store markets. We shall, of course, be considering farmers' incomes soon in the context of the Annual Review, together with all other relevant factors.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in an earlier reply the indication was that the underlying trend of incomes for hill farms was static and that costs were rising? What is the right hon Gentleman going to do about it?
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that small hill farmers in areas adjacent to parts of the country affected by foot-and-mouth disease have had to bear heavy additional costs this year because they have had to retain their store cattle and store lambs, and to buy fodder?
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that his answer to this Question, like his answer to some earlier ones, adds to the need for an early statement that we shall recoup farmers for these costs? Will he give an answer which will show that he realises the need—as expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House—for an early statement?