§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the rise in the value of agricultural hereditaments since 1980. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 29 January 2001]: This information is not available. Agricultural hereditaments are exempt from rating and consequently they have not been valued. We have attempted to estimate the value of agricultural hereditaments for rating purposes on several previous occasions. However these calculations rely on a number of assumptions and are constrained by the availability of information on the value of agricultural properties at the time the calculation was made. Further, the basis used to calculate business rates has changed since 1980. As a result our previous calculations do not provide a reliable basis for estimating the increase in the notional value of agricultural hereditaments over a period of time.