The impression that we have been living through a period of 'phoney war' with regard to the UK's financial difficulties has intesified since the budget announcements when George Osbourne suggested that government departments outside the protected spheres of health and international development would see cuts of up to 25%. The Scotsman this morning is saying that some departments could see cuts of 33%, and singles out DEFRA for particular attention.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the Westminster government's department responsible for environment protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom.
Its key partners include the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission.
Severe cuts to DEFRA are not likely to be good news for rural areas such as Islay.