HC Deb 27 October 1980 vol 991 cc116-7W
Mr. Rooker

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement detailing any reduction or abolition in the collection or publication of statistics or reports by his Department since May 1979, indicating if such information is available from any other source; and what financial savings have been made by any such changes.

Mr. Wiggin:

I regret that full information on all reports published by the Ministry is not available centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

In respect of statistical surveys and the publication of statistical data, the following changes have been made since May 1979 (these do not include changes which may result from Sir Derek Rayner's review of Government statistical services).

March and September Agricultural Inquiries: Abolished.

Potato Yield Survey: Abolished.

(Information available to the Ministry from the PMB)

Survey of Use of Dried Milk in Animal Feedingstuffs: Abolished.

(Information available to the Ministry from IBAP)

Reductions have been made in the June agricultural census and other related surveys, and in surveys of the food processing sector. It is planned to reduce the surveys of the smallest agricultural holdings from once every three years to once every five years. A planned census of agricultural machinery has been cancelled.

Economies have also been made in the issue of the agricultural market report, and of the agricultural price index monthly statement, and I shall continue to see that no unnecessary notices are issued. The savings in costs of collection and publication of statistics is estimated to be £195,000 per year on a continuing basis, with an estimated saving of £180,000 on costs which might have been incurred on the census of agricultural machinery.

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