HC Deb 08 January 2004 vol 416 cc401-2
16. Paddy Tipping (Sherwood) (Lab)

When she will make an announcement on the method of making agricultural support payments to farmers in 2005 following the mid-term review of the common agricultural policy. [146384]

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Margaret Beckett)

We hope to make an announcement on the model for allocating entitlements under the new single payment scheme in a matter of weeks.

Paddy Tipping

The outcome of the mid-term review was a radical and progressive step. Will my right hon. Friend go further down that path and introduce proposals that do not rely only on historical claims, but which pay close attention to those voices that advocate a hybrid solution?

Margaret Beckett

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for those observations. We have received some 800 responses to the consultation that we carried out following the reformed negotiations, and their variety was most interesting. Some responses supported historic allocation, while others supported area-based schemes and still others supported hybrid solutions. We are considering all those proposals with great care, and are paying particular and detailed attention to their impact on farm incomes and on the future and sustainability of UK farming.