To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to pay the proposed single farm payments in respect of all IACS-registered land, regardless of whether the farming activity being carried out during the reference period qualified for subsidy. 
Under the European Commission's CAP reform proposals, Member States would have the discretion to implement the single payment scheme on the basis of a single common payment rate per hectare rather than individual rates determined by historic subsidy receipts. However, this option would only apply at the regional level and the common payment per hectare would have to made to all farmers in a region, whether their land registered for arable area aid purposes or not. If any such discretion is provided for in the final agreement, the Government will wish to consult interested parties before deciding what, if any, use might be made of it.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many registered agricultural holdings for the purposes of IACS payments there were in (a) 1995 and (b) 1997; and how many there are now. 
The number of registered agricultural holdings for the purposes of IACS payments for England and Wales is as follows.