§ Sir Raymond Gower
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number of farms in Wales in 1954; and what was the number at the latest convenient date.
£ million 1979–80* 1980–81* 1981–82* 1982–83* 1983–84† Cash: Current expenditure‡ 870 1,032 1,171 1,264 1,405 Capital expenditure 235 247 178 241 309 Total 1,105 1,279 1,349 1,505 1,714 Cost terms║: Current expenditure‡ 1,210 1,209 1,249 1,264 1,338 Capital expenditure 327 289 190 241 294 Total 1,537 1,498 1,439 1,505 1,632 * Outturn. †Estimated outturn. ‡The current expenditure figures need to be interpreted with care. The figure for 1983–84 reflects the reduction of 1 per cent. in the national insurance surcharge payable by local authority employers in that year, and also the expenditure consequences of the transfer of certain housing benefit responsibilities from central to local government. Were it not for these changes 1983–84 current expenditure would have been some £33 million lower in cash terms, and £31 million in cost terms. ║The cash figures for each year have been transformed into 1982–83 prices using the gross domestic product deflator.
§ Mr. Ron Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the percentage of local authority expenditure met by central Government funds for each year from 1979 to the latest date for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
Prior to 1981–82 England and Wales were treated together under the rate support grant system then in operation. Figures of central Government support for local authority expenditure in each county before 1981–82 could only be obtained at disproportionate cost and would not be compatible with those for later years when a different rate support grant system applied. The434W
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
The number of agricultural holdings in Wales covered by the June agricultural census in 1954 was 55,946; the provisional figure for 1983 was 30,008. These figures, however, are not strictly comparable owing to a number of changes in the criteria for the inclusion of holdings in the census.