To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is yet in a position to provide the information requested by the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) on 24 November, Official Report, column 225, relating to the powers of agriculture wages boards to require employers to pay contributions towards the pensions of farm workers as part of the minimum wages conditions; and if he will make a statement.
I wrote to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) on 10 December 1987.Matters concerning the Agricultural Wages Board for Scotland are for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales has the powers to set such terms and conditions of employment as it thinks fit which, I am advised, could include the setting up of a pension fund. However, the exercise of its discretionary powers is entirely a matter for the board itself. The Government have no statutory powers of direction over its activities.