HC Deb 11 December 1975 vol 902 cc639-40
9. Mr. David Walder

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the net cost of farm modernisation schemes last year.

Mr. Strang

Have we come to Question No. 9? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."]

The net cost of farm modernisation schemes in the United Kingdom for the calendar year 1974 was £83.2 million. This figure covers grant expenditure under the farm capital grant schemes 1970 and 1973, the horticulture capital grant schemes 1973 and the Farm and Horticulture Development Regulations 1973.

Mr. Walder

Is the Minister aware—apart from the fact that he is answering Question No. 9—that that figure is inevitably disappointing, bearing in mind the effect of inflation on farmers, and, of course, the decline in the value of money? How does he square that with the objectives set out in his own White Paper?

Mr. Strang

There is a problem here in relation to the Farm and Horticulture Development Scheme by which we have been required to lay down certain conditions as a result of membership of the Community which are bureaucratic and which we are seeking to simplify. We hope that this simplification will considerably increase the uptake.

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