HOUSE OF COMMONS
Fifth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.
FARM AND CONSERVATION GRANT (VARIATION) SCHEME 1995
Wednesday 3 May 1995
Members who wish to have copies of the Official Report of Proceedings in Standing Committees sent to them are requested to give notice to that effect at the Vote Office.
No proofs can be supplied. Corrigenda slips may be published with Bound Volume editions. Corrigenda that Members suggest should be clearly marked in a copy of the report—not telephoned—and must be received in the Editor's Room, House of Commons.
not later than
Monday 8 May 1995
STRICT ADHERENCE TD THIS ARRANGEMENT WILL GREATLY FACILITATE THE PROMPT PUBLICATION OF THE BOUND VOLUMES OF PROCEEDINGS IN STANDING COMMITTEES
© Parliamentary copyright House of Commons 1995
Applications for reproduction should be made to HMSO
|HMSO publications are available from:|
|HMSO Publications Centre||HMSO Bookshops||The Parliamentary Bookshop|
|(Mail and telephone orders only)||49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6HB (counter service only)||12 Bridge Street, Parliament Square,|
|PO Box 276, London SW8 5DT||0171 873 0011 Fax 0171 831 1326||London SW1A 2JX|
|Telephone orders 0171 873 9090||68–69 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AD 0121 236 9696 Fax 0121 236 9699||Telephone orders 0171 219 3890|
|General enquiries 0171 873 0011||33 Wine Street, Bristol BS1 2BQ 0117 9264306 Fax 0117 9294515||General enquiries 0171 219 3890|
|(queuing system for both numbers in operation)||9–21 Princess Street, Manchester M60 8AS 0161 834 7201 Fax 0161 833 0634||Fax orders 0171 219 3866|
|16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD 01232 238451 Fax 01232 235401|
|Fax orders 0171 873 8200||71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AZ 031 228 4181 Fax 0131 229 2734||HMSO's Accredited Agents|
|The HMSO Oriel Bookshop, The Friary, Cardiff CF1 4AA 01222 395548||(see Yellow Pages)|
|Fax 01222 384347||and through good booksellers|
|Printed in the United Kingdom by HMSO|
The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Chairman: MR. JOHN MAXTON
Ainger, Mr. Nick (Pembroke)
Bates, Mr. Michael (Langbaurgh)
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie (Blyth Valley)
Eagle, Ms Angela (Wallasey)
Gill, Mr. Christopher (Ludlow)
McFall, Mr. John (Dumbarton)
Monro, Sir Hector (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland)
Morgan, Mr. Rhodri (Cardiff, West)
Nicholson, Mr. David (Taunton)
Pickthall, Mr. Colin (Lancashire, West)
Porter, Mr. David (Waveney)
Spring, Mr. Richard (Bury St Edmunds)
Stanley, Sir John (Tonbridge and Malling)
Steen, Mr. Anthony (South Hams)
Sykes, Mr. John (Scarborough)
Tyler, Mr. Paul (North Cornwall)
Walden, Mr. George (Buckingham)
Williams, Mr. Alan (Swansea, West)
Mr. P. A. Evans, Committee Clerk2 3 Fifth Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Wednesday 3 May 1995
[MR. JOHN MAXTON in the Chair]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Sir Hector Monro): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the Farm and Conservation Grant (Variation) Scheme 1995 (S.I. 1995, No. 890). A number of valuable environmental grants are available in Scotland and Wales—and, of course, in England, in respect of which the corresponding statutory instrument has already been passed. The grants are made on an area basis, at so much a hectare—but certain small areas such as those to which the waterside habitat scheme in Scotland and the species rich grassland and water fringe schemes in Wales relate, require fencing that cannot be provided on an area payment basis. The statutory instrument approves the use of the farm and conservation grant scheme for those three schemes, so that they can have a 40 per cent. grant for fencing. I shall gladly provide details on the working of the scheme for any hon. Member who wants them, but all that the statutory instrument does is to provide the 40 per cent. grant.
Mr. John McFall (Dumbarton): As you know, Mr. Maxton, the statutory instrument is an affirmative one. Labour did not call for a debate on the issue. We welcome the Government's proposal. Our spokesperson in the House of Lords, my noble Friend Lord Carter, in a speech whose shortness I hope to emulate, welcomed the 4 measure. Lord Mackie of Benshie also welcomed it, but said that he would prefer the restoration of payments to hill farmers that the Government cut some time ago. I echo those sentiments. One wonders if the Government have faced all their responsibilities for the environment, having axed the grants that were given to help farmers restore and improve waste handling facilities as well as making £12 million cuts last year in the farm and conservation grant scheme. The issue affecting hill farmers is an urgent one, about which the Opposition have pressed the Government for the past few years. For the past two years, the Government have cut the hill livestock compensatory allowance, which compensates farmers for their permanent hardship. The continued deterioration of the HLCA threatens the longterm future of hill farming, the fragile environment of hills and, as the Minister has mentioned with regard to Scotland, the tourist industry that is a feature of it. Nevertheless, we welcome the 40 per cent. grant measure that the Government have proposed.
Sir Hector Monro: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his welcome of the measure. He is a little naughty in his remarks about hill farming. We did not cut the HLCA this year, and more money is going into the suckler cow and beef special premiums than ever before—which is all to hill farmers' advantage. I hope that their income will increase this year.
Question put and agreed to.
Resolved, That the Committee has considered the Farm and Conservation Grant (Variation) Scheme 1995 (S.I. 1995, No. 890).
Committee rose at twenty-seven minutes to Five o' clock.
THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:
Maxton, Mr. John (Chairman)
Monro, Sir Hector
Nicholson, Mr. David
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, Sir John