§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the total cost for the three years from 2003–04 of implementing the proposals of the Policy Commission on the future of farming and food for the England Rural Development Programme. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 13 June 2002]: The Policy Commission estimated that implementing its recommendations would cost approximately £500 million over three years. However, the cost of many of the recommendations, including those relating to the England Rural Development Programme, will depend upon the precise way in which they are implemented. The Government intend to produce a Strategy for Sustainable Food and Farming in England in the autumn, following a wide-ranging process of stakeholder engagement. This strategy will incorporate a definitive response to each of the Policy Commission's recommendations.