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Agricultural Holdings

Volume 19: debated on Sunday 4 April 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has received any representations from the National Farmers Union in Cumbria on the question of agricultural holdings legislation.

Does the Minister accept the need to introduce a new formula for rents and at the same time to reject the Country Landowners Association proposal for an amendment to the 1976 Act? Would not the best way to secure the interest of young farmers who want to rent land be to set up a national public bank of land to provide for their particular needs?

What proposals does the right hon. Gentleman have to reduce the rate of loss of agricultural land for letting in family-sized units? Will he consider the need for new tenancy legislation, including proposals for improved arbitration? Will he also consider introducing tax incentives to encourge the entry of new tenant farmers to the industry?

I am considering representations on those matters. The Chancellor of the Exchequer made some useful and helpful amendments in last year's Budget.