HC Deb 24 May 1995 vol 260 cc893-4
9. Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acres of Scotland are currently farmed; how many farm acres are currently set aside; at what cost; and if he will make a statement. [24233]

Sir Hector Monro

In 1994, there were just over 6 million hectares of agricultural land in Scotland. About 93,000 hectares were in set-aside. Payments amounted to £25.7 million.

Mr. Greenway

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that farmers and farm workers in Perthshire are enjoying increasing prosperity? Would that not be put at risk by a tax-raising Scottish Assembly?

Sir Hector Monro

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to suggest that Scottish farm incomes have risen substantially. Last year, they increased by no less than 25 per cent. to £454 million, the highest figure for 17 years. As he said, Perth and Kinross is the sort of area that benefits substantially from the money going into both less-favoured areas and non-LFA areas. The future looks good, provided people make the right decision tomorrow.

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