HC Deb 19 February 1990 vol 167 cc551-2W
Sir David Steel

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes have been made over the past 12 months in the green pound arrangements for Scottish farmers; and what estimate he has made of the effect this has had on their standard of living.

Mr. Rifkind

In April 1989, as part of the price-fixing settlement. we obtained a substantial devaluation of the green pound, reducing United Kingdom monetary gaps generally by half, and in the case of beef removing the gap completely. The devaluations were estimated to boost Scottish farm incomes by between £15 and £20 million in a full year.

In January this year an EMS realignment created new negative monetary gaps for some currencies, including sterling. Under agreed rules, such gaps are removed automatically and the United Kingdom will benefit from a devaluation of about 1.5 percentage points, which will add about £6.5 million to Scottish farm incomes in a full year.

Sir David Steel

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he proposes to take to reduce the disadvantage to Scottish farmers as a result of the current levels of the green pound and interest rates.

Mr. Rifkind

The disadvantage to Scottish and other United Kingdom farmers will be overcome by reducing


2. 1990–91 is based on the allocations for resident population using the new allocation formula, adjusted for the effect of cross boundary flows, so that they are on a comparable basis to 1989–90.

3. Both 1989–90 and 1990–91 exclude the additions for SIFT supra-regional services and other special additions specific to individual regions.

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