HC Deb 06 November 1958 vol 594 cc93-4W
Mr. John Hill

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further progress report on the Farm Improvement Scheme.

Mr. John Hare

Up to the end of September, 44,683 applications had been received in England and Wales. Of these, 22,320 had received formal approval. involving 33,346 improvements estimated to cost £15¾ million. Of the rest, 6,300 proposals were ready for approval subject to the applicants providing further information or signing formal documents, and 10,006 had been withdrawn or rejected. Thus, six applications out of seven had been dealt with. Grant of £988,000 had already been paid on completed work. Between 2,500 and 3,000 new applications are being received each month, and there has recently been a marked increase in the claims for grant on completed work. During September one-third of the applications approved in England and Wales were wholly or partly in respect of standard costs, and standard costs covered almost one-quarter of the total cost of approvals. This new provision is obviously proving helpful.