§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Prime Minister what criteria were taken into account when deciding on the relative cut in expenditure on the Agricultural Development Advisory Service in England, Wales and Scotland, respectively; and why the percentage cut in Scotland is greater than in England and Wales.
§ The Prime Minister
The Government's expenditure plans 1985–86 to 1987–88 published in January 1985 provide for a reduction in expenditure by the agricultural Departments on advisory services to farmers by £20 million in 1987–88. This reduction reflects the Government's aim that industry should make a greater financial contribution towards the cost of services from which it benefits and is provisional and depends on progress towards achievement of this aim. My right hon. Friends, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Scotland agreed that the proposed reduction would be shared pro rata to the planned expenditure by their Departments on Advisory Services in 1987–88. On that basis it is proposed that the planned expenditure of £40 million by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on advisory services in 1987–88 will be reduced by £16.6 million and the planned expenditure of £8.2 million by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland will be reduced by £3.4 million. Thus the percentage cut in Scotland is no greater than that in England and Wales.