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Hill Farmers

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the average income of hill farmers was provided by (a) Government and (b) European funding in each year since 1997. [27256]

Mr. Morley: Information on public expenditure under the CAP and on national grants and subsidies is given in the table.

£ billion

Total public expenditure under the CAP and on national grants and subsidies3.583.483.163.18
Of which:
Under the CAP3.323.192.822.87
Other schemes0.260.290.340.31
Percentage EU funded93928990


Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2000

These figures exclude the additional support farmers receive from the consumer, through the maintenance of EU agricultural prices above world levels by the CAP.

It is not possible to give this breakdown specifically for hill farms, but typically, a high percentage of subsidy paid to hill farmers will be from EU funding.

In the years since 1997, average total direct subsidies to LFA cattle and sheep farms have exceeded net farm income. Data for England for the year 1999–2000, given in the table, illustrate the point.

Average output, input and income for full-time hill farms
England 1999–2000   (£/farm)

LFA cattle and sheep farms
Average farm output61,700
Of which:
Direct livestock subsidies25,400
Other direct subsidies4,000
Average input costs56,400
Average net farm income5,300


Farm Business Survey

Water Framework Directive

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates she has made of the potential cost (a) to businesses and (b) to public funds of implementing the EU water framework directive 2000/60/EC. [27139]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 14 January 2002]: The implications of the directive are set out in the regulatory impact assessment (RIA) "First Consultation Paper on the Implementation of the EC Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)" which was published jointly by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the National Assembly for Wales in March 2001. A copy of the consultation paper is in the House of Commons Library.

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Costs to businesses and public funds

The estimated overall costs 1 in the regulatory impact assessment were dominated by the cost of making improvements to water status (£1.9 billion to £9.0 billion), which were broken down into: improvements to point source discharges by sewerage undertakers (£0.9 billion to £4.2 billion); improvements to point source discharges by industry (£0.3 billion to £1.2 billion); reductions in pollution from diffuse sources, particularly agriculture (£0.6 billion to £2.9 billion); improvements to river habitats (£90 million to £440 million); and, alleviation of low flows (up to £240 million).

It is not yet possible to make an estimate of the effect on water charges to domestic and commercial customers of water and sewerage companies. This will be dealt with as part of the periodic reviews of water prices carried out by Ofwat. These reviews will also provide the opportunity to ensure that the most cost-effective combination of capital investment and other measures is built into water companies' programmes alongside regulatory measures delivered by the Environment Agency.

The costs of habitat restoration and low flow alleviation projects, and urban run-off, may fall on the regulatory bodies, water companies, local authorities and landowners. However, it is not currently possible to estimate the extent and distribution of such work.

The administrative, planning and monitoring costs were assumed to fall principally on central Government and Government agencies, with small administration costs falling on local authorities and the water companies. The estimated cost of administrative arrangements was £3 million, for the planning process £13 million to £20 million, and for additional monitoring and assessment approximately £94 million.

A revised regulatory impact assessment will be needed, once an overall package of implementing regulations has been prepared for consultation, later this year or early 2003.


Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the cost to its budget since 1 May 1997 of fraud; and if she will make a statement. [27293]

Mr. Morley: The Department has only been in existence since June 2001. Information covering earlier periods is therefore not available, and could be constructed retrospectively only at disproportionate cost. Annual reports which the Treasury prepares on fraud, covering returns from both the former MAFF and DETR, are deposited in the Library of the House.

Food Imports

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional

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impact control measures have been introduced since the resolution of the blockade of foreign food imports at (a) Cairnryan and (b) elsewhere in 1998. [27026]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 January 2002]: The blockade of food imports at Cairnryan and elsewhere in 1998 related to farmers' concerns over rural incomes in the UK due to the effects of BSE on the market price of British beef, along with concerns over the strength of the British pound reducing the price of foreign meat imports from the Republic of Ireland. EU legislation does not allow the blockade of meat imported without justifiable reason and no additional import measures were taken following these events.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the cost of buildings refurbishment carried out by her Department in each of the last four years. [27956]

Mr. Morley: The figures, which exclude any refurbishment carried out as part of landlord lease obligations, are as follows: Refurbishments are included in the planned programme of building maintenance.

Flood Protection (Hillingdon)

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to improve flood protection in the London borough of Hillingdon. [28486]

Mr. Morley: This Department provides grants for flood and coastal defence capital works, and associated studies, which meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score. Further to increases in spending plans in the last two spending reviews, additional funding of £51 million over the four years from 2000–01 was announced in November 2000 following the severe flooding that year. An increased priority was given to urban flood defences and the grant rates for all river flood defences were increased by 20 per cent.

Operational responsibility for flood management measures rests with the local operation authorities, normally the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils, who decide which projects to promote and their timing. The operational authorities are invited to submit applications for DEFRA funding.

The EA has implemented a number of flood alleviation schemes in the London borough of Hillingdon as part of the £20 million Lower Colne Improvement Scheme with the benefit of grant aid. The schemes provide flood alleviation properties within West Drayton, Uxbridge and Cowley.

The EA is now reviewing the feasibility of sustainable flood alleviation measures for the River Pinn catchment.

Nitrate Pollution

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals she has to provide financial assistance to farmers having

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to expend on increased slurry storage facilities as a result of being included in extensions to nitrate vulnerable zones; and if she will make a statement on her Department's consultation on the implementation of the European Nitrates Directive. [29090]

Mr. Meacher: The Farm Waste Grant Scheme is available now to assist farmers in existing nitrate vulnerable zones with the cost of improving or constructing farm waste storage facilities. Grant is available at a rate of 40 per cent. on eligible expenditure up to an investment ceiling of £85,000. The Government intend to extend this scheme to the new NVZ areas, from the date of their designation. We are currently considering whether additional funds will be needed from 2003 onwards, and we are considering also the option to raise the grant rate to 50 per cent. in less favoured areas, as is permitted under the EU rules on state aids.

DEFRA's current consultation seeks views on how England should complete full implementation of the Nitrates Directive. Following this, a decision on which of the two options for designation will be taken in England will be announced later this year.

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