Skip to main content

Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in reforming the Common Agricultural Policy during the last six months. [129495]

On 26 June EU Agriculture Ministers agreed an historic reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which will provide a more sustainable basis for European agriculture, as well as reducing some of the damaging impacts of the CAP on developing countries.The agreement breaks the link between farm subsidies and production in order to reconnect farmers to their markets, reduce damaging environmental impacts and reduce bureaucracy, this is at the heart of our approach to sustainable food and farming. Subsidies will also be dependent on farmers meeting standards in areas like environmental protection, and animal health and welfare. For the first time there will be an EU wide switch of money from production subsidies to environmental and rural development objectives, and there is a new financial discipline which will trigger action to reduce subsidies if CAP expenditure is in danger of exceeding the agreed budget ceilings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the latest estimate is of the cost to the average family of the Common Agricultural Policy through higher consumer prices and levels of taxation. [129439]

[holding answer 11 September 2003]: The consumer cost of the CAP can be estimated by examining the difference between UK and world prices for agricultural food products. The notional taxpayer contribution to CAP expenditure can also be estimated though, in practice, UK taxpayers contribute to the whole EU budget rather than to specific components. Our latest provisional estimates for 2002 show a cost of the CAP to a notional family of four from higher consumer prices and levels of taxation of approximately £8 to £9 a week.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claimants received a direct grant or subsidy under the Common Agricultural Policy in the latest year for which information is available; and of the payments made, how many were (a) under £1,000, (b) between £1,000 and £2,500, (c) between £2,500 and £5,000, (d) between £5,000 and £10,000, (e) between £10,000 and £100,000, (f) between £100,000 and £500,000, (g) between £500,000 and £1 million and (h) in excess of £1 million. [129441]

[holding answer 11 September 2003]: The number of claimants who received direct grants or subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy in England was 93,542 in the 12 month period to 31 August 2003. This is broken down into the requested payment bands in the following table. We are unable to identify the total payments received by any individual or business making applications using more than one name. The payment of direct grants and subsidies in that period in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was the responsibility of the devolved authorities in Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Administration.

Direct subsidy payments in the 12 month period to 31 August 2003
BandTotal value of payments in periodNumber of claimants
(a)Under £1,00022,740
(b)Between £1,000 and £2,50012,578
(c)Between £2,500 and £5,00011,226

Direct subsidy payments in the 12 month period to 31 August 2003

Band

Total value of payments in period

Number oj claimants

(d)Between £5,000 and £10,00012,048
(e)Between £10,000 and £100,00032,884
(f)Between £100,000 and £500,0002,027
(g)Between £500,000 and £1,000,00028
(h)In excess of £1,000,00011
Total number of claimants93,542