HC Deb 31 January 1997 vol 289 cc407-8W
Mr. Couchman

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what changes are proposed to the cash limits for class III, vote 2 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for 1996–97. [14204]

Mr. Douglas Hogg

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class III, vote 2—Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food—will be reduced by £3,789,000 from £916,375,000 to £912,586,000.

Provision of £2,160,000 is being transferred from the Ministry of Defence for the storm tide warning service. Reductions are being made in the cash limit to take account of a transfer to the Office of Science and Technology for staff transfers and redundancies at Horticultural Research International of £1,800,000, a transfer to MAFF's non-voted cash limit for supplementary credit approvals of £1,150,000 and the reimbursement of funds to the Exchequer in respect of aid to the tanning industry of £3,000,000. Provision has been included for additional payments and matching receipts of £20,000,000 in respect of EU beef support measures. Provision for payments to the rendering industry of £118,000,000 has been reclassified within the vote.

The MAFF/LACAP cash limit for supplementary credit approvals will be increased by £2,011,000 from £14,422,000 to £16,433,000. The increase comprises two elements; £861,000 relates to the Ministry's entitlement to end-year flexibility, which takes account of slippage in the construction of a number of coast protection schemes, such as those at Hythe and Eastbourne. The balance is to be matched by the reduction of £1,150,000 in MAFF's voted cash limit class III, vote 2.

The increase will be charged to the reserve and will not, therefore, add to the planned total of public expenditure.

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