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Farm Advisory System

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the cost to the United Kingdom of introducing and operating the Farm Advisory System proposed by the European Commission; what the Government"s policy is on the appropriate division of the costs of the scheme between Government and industry; and if she will make a statement. [114091]

The Government estimate that a farm advisory system as proposed by the Commission would cost government at least £42 million p.a., and farmers a further unquantified amount. The Government do not consider this likely to be good value for money and are pressing for a less bureaucratic approach.