HC Deb 18 March 1976 vol 907 c1527
9. Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what effect the White Paper Command Paper No. 6393 on Public Expenditure will have on the special position of agriculture in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

Agriculture accounts for 10 per cent. of employment in Northern Ireland compared with 3 per cent. in the rest of the United Kingdom. The public expenditure provisions recognise this by allowing for certain special aids to Northern Ireland agriculture as well as the assistance available to agriculture throughout the United Kingdom.

Mr. Farr

Although I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I remind him that these special aids are due to decline in value by 1980? If it is felt in this period that the decline of about one third in total is too rapid, will the right hon. Gentleman revise the projected figures?

Mr. Rees

I think that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the remoteness grant and the financial assistance towards the cost of sea transport of Northern Irish eggs and the feed price allowance scheme. These are extra to what farmers receive here. I shall keep my eye on them, because they are important.

Mr. Wm. Ross

Will the special arrangements for beef premiums continue in the coming year?

Mr. Rees


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