HC Deb 24 April 2001 vol 367 c260W
Mr. Kaufman

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the Manchester, Gorton constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 30 November 2000. [154505]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 16 March 2001]: MAFF does not hold statistical information on a constituency basis relating to the Department's policies. As many of the Department's policies flow from measures agreed within the framework of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, statistical data are normally available on a UK or England basis.

Farmers in the UK receive approximately £3 billion per year in direct CAP payments. This does not include the significant additional costs to consumers as a result of CAP price supports which keep EU prices above prevailing world prices.

Consumers in Manchester, Gorton will benefit from the Agenda 2000 reforms of the CAP in the form of reduced food bills, with the average saving for a typical family rising to £65 a year by 2010.

The Government are committed to securing a more economically rational CAP. This will benefit both consumers and taxpayers in Manchester, Gorton. We aim to redirect public money from agricultural price support mechanisms to rural development measures of benefit to the wider rural community and visitors to the countryside. One of the most important outcomes of Agenda 2000 was the establishment of the Rural Development Regulation, which is being implemented in England through the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP), investing around £1.6 billion in rural areas over seven years. By supporting rural development, including diversification into tourist activities, and by conserving and enhancing the rural environment through support for "public" goods such as biodiversity and landscape appearance, the ERDP offers benefits to all who visit the countryside.