HC Deb 29 February 1996 vol 272 c993
12. Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the change in farm incomes since September 1992. [16108]

Mr. Douglas Hogg

Total—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] It is indeed good news, Madam Speaker. Total income from farming is estimated to have risen by 52 per cent. in real terms between 1992 and 1995.

Mr. Brown

Does that not show that, under a Conservative Government, farm incomes have risen while food prices have fallen? Can my right hon. and learned Friend refresh my memory? Was it not the other way round under the last Labour Government? Did not farm incomes fall, while food prices rocketed?

Mr. Hogg

You will not be surprised to learn, Madam Speaker, that my hon. Friend is right. The full particulars are as follows: agricultural spending within the common agricultural policy quadrupled under Labour; food prices in real terms went up under Labour; and, under Labour during 1974–79, total income from farming, expressed in real terms, went down by 32 per cent.