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Farmers: Income

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of farmers in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) the UK who are living below the poverty line. (144221)

The Government’s preferred measure of “low income” is income that is less than 60 per cent. of the median equivalised income for all UK households after tax. The Farm Business Survey is not able to provide figures for income net of tax and the figures below are therefore based upon a modified low income threshold of £13,800 calculated before tax. Data on farm household income are available for 2005-06 only and not at the UK level.

Estimated number of farm households below the modified low income threshold

Estimated proportion of households below the modified low income threshold (percentage)

Cornwall

800

55

South West GOR

4,300

37

England

19,100

31

Source:

Farm Business Survey, 2005-06

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average annual earnings for farmers in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) the UK in each year since 1979. (144222)

Information is not available in the precise form requested. The following table shows average net farm income per farm in (a) Cornwall (b) the South West Government Office Region and (c) the UK in each year since 1980-81. Data are not available on a comparable basis for earlier years.

Average net farm income (£-farm)

March- February

Cornwall

South West

United Kingdom

1980-81

6,289

8,496

7,013

1981-82

8,158

13,114

10,005

1982-83

10,424

10,976

11,341

1983-84

6,430

9,895

10,714

1984-85

7,683

10,996

11,817

1985-86

8,375

9,404

6,675

1986-87

5,513

9,528

10,011

1987-88

13,338

16,003

11,571

1988-89

15,401

19,083

12,319

1989-90

10,952

14,420

15,482

1990-91

7,655

11,542

14,288

1991-92

13,814

15,254

15,250

1992-93

15,237

19,541

19,166

1993-94

20,687

21,669

21,923

1994-95

13,966

21,281

24,123

1995-96

20,976

30,778

31,776

1996-97

7,413

22,785

26,027

1997-98

1,868

11,688

12,213

1998-99

-1,170

6,428

8,512

1999-2000

1,641

7,508

6,639

2000-01

3,702

6,841

8,666

2001-02

17,015

15,110

12,992

2002-03

16,070

15,079

13,728

2003-04

18,914

21,458

23,932

2004-05

11,539

17,080

17,991

2005-06

10,463

17,753

17,508

Source:

Farm Business Survey

Net farm income is defined as the return to the principal farmer and spouse for their manual and managerial labour and on the tenant type capital of the business. It excludes all income arising from outside the farm business.