§ 24. Mike Gapes
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the value for money obtained for support to the farming industry in each of the last five years. 178W
§ Margaret Beckett
Funding in support of the Action Plan for Farming will be subject to evaluation in partnership with our rural, farming, food and retail industry stakeholders. The England Rural Development Programme will receive a mid-term evaluation in 2003. An annual programme of evaluations is carried out of different policy programmes; details and copies of reports are on DEFRA's website http://www.defra.gov.uk/
However the vast majority of support to farmers over the last five years has been through CAP direct payments. Despite the achievements of the Agenda 2000 agreement, the Government do not believe that the CAP offers good value for money either to taxpayers, consumers or to the UK economy. We want to see further radical reform to secure a more economically rational CAP which is sustainable in relation to the countryside environment and rural economies.