§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will identify for each of the proposals put forward to Government by the business deregulation task forces, and represented by numbers 96 and 99 in the publication "Deregulation Task Forces: Proposals for Reform"(a) which the Government have already taken action on, (b) which are under further consideration and (c) which are not being considered further.
§ Mr. Jack
In relation to proposal 96, we argued consistently in Brussels during the discussions on reform of the common agricultural policy that a premium scheme for male beef animals with payment in two stages based on age would be very complex to run. Since the reformed new scheme has only recently been agreed, any fundamental changes are likely to be for the longer term. The food, drink and agriculture task force's recommendation will be looked at carefully when such major changes are considered.
Regarding proposal 99, the Government are considering whether a quicker and simpler system for paying forestry grants could be introduced. This is in line with a Environment Select Committee recommendation made last year. The Government are also considering whether there is scope for more self-regulation by the forestry industry.