§ Mr. Geraint Howells
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to seek to include the whole of Wales in the less favoured areas scheme.
§ Mr. John Morris
No. Under the Less-Favoured Areas Directive (75/268/ EEC) it is possible to designate only those areas which, as well as being mainly suitable for extensive livestock farming and yielding low economic returns, also suffer from a low or dwindling population predominantly dependent on agriculture. This requirement would prevent the designation of several parts of Wales. Under the criteria of eligibility set out in my reply to the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans) on 29th June—[Vol. 914, c.142–3]—around three-quarters of the agricultural land area of Wales is included within the less favoured area.