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Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the higher rates of modulation on larger farms; and if she will make a statement. [120539]

[holding answer 20 June 2003]: The deal on CAP reform agreed by the Agriculture Council on 26 June 2003 represents a real shift in agricultural policy. It will provide a more sustainable basis for European agriculture and reflect the wider environmental and rural development objectives, which society seeks to achieve.The first €5,000 of every recipient's subsidy is exempt from modulation. However, this means that the effective modulation rate is higher on farms in receipt of higher levels of subsidy. However, this should be viewed in the context of the whole package of reforms. An assessment of the economic impact of the Commission's January proposals on the long-term perspective for sustainable agriculture is available on the Defra website (, and an assessment of the impact of the outcome of the negotiations will be made available in future.