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Farmers: Bankruptcy

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many farmers in Copeland have declared bankruptcy over the last 20 years. (175941)

The closest available estimates for bankruptcies among farmers are the numbers of bankruptcy orders made under the category “agriculture and horticulture” according to the Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC). The following table provides the numbers of such cases for England and Wales as a whole, which are available from 1990 onwards.

The ITC is not consistent with the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), which is used to classify businesses held on the Companies Register by Companies House, and elsewhere. Additionally, a bankruptcy order would only cover those business insolvencies among sole traders (and some partnerships) not among registered companies, which would be the subject of a company liquidation. It is not, therefore, possible to provide estimates of the proportions of farmers becoming bankrupt. Bankruptcy statistics for the period covered are classified regionally according to the locations and areas of responsibility of Official Receivers' (ORs') offices, each of which covers a number of courts having insolvency jurisdiction, and are not directly comparable with administrative geographies, such as government office regions or districts. Additionally, statistics broken down by both detailed industry and regionally are not readily available.

Bankruptcies in England and Wales in the Agriculture sector, January 1990 to September 2006

1990

198

1991

266

1992

313

1993

277

1994

231

1995

218

1996

168

1997

155

1998

157

1999

183

2000

173

2001

183

2002

132

2003

151

2004

204

2005

195

20061

129

1 Up to September. Figures from October 2006 are not available due to development work to update the classification to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003. These will be available for new cases from July 2007.

Note:

Figures are not available prior to January 1990.