§ Mr. Nelson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if Her Majesty's Government will take steps to reduce the borrowing of some £8 million by the Land Settlement Association, and the cost of interest;
(2) what arrangements are being made to deal with the accumulated deficits of the Land Settlement Association pending decisions on its long-term structure and organisation.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
Following discussions with the chairman of the Land Settlement Association, the Government have agreed that the association's accumulated deficit to 31 March 1982, and the interest thereon, should not be recouped in the 1982–83 financial year. It is estimated that this will amount to at least £1/2 million on 31 March 1982. This is a holding operation whilst we take the many important decisions that are needed on the long-term structure of the organisation. The question of recoupment of the accumulated debts, which remain the responsibility of the Land Settlement Association, will be returned to in this context.
The question of the sums advanced by the Ministry for the operation of the scheme will be covered in the review of the long-term arrangements.