Skip to main content

Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was paid to farmers in each region of England in (a) single farm payments, (b) protein crop premium and (c) energy aid in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007 and (iv) 2008. (260343)

The data required to provide payment information for these schemes by region are not held in a form that is easily accessible and cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on set-aside; and what timetable he has set to introduce changes to the existing arrangements. (262986)

As I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1216W, the UK supported abolishing set-aside in the CAP ‘Health Check’, but made it clear that adequate measures were needed to mitigate adverse environmental consequences. We were successful in achieving a new legal basis which allows member states to use cross-compliance for this purpose.

On 4 March 2009 DEFRA launched a 12-week public consultation on proposed changes to cross-compliance, including recapturing the environmental benefits of set-aside. The consultation ends on 27 May and Ministers will be considering these responses before making a decision. It is anticipated that any measures, would be introduced from 2010 onwards.