§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will spend the match-funded money raised from the introduction of modulation under the New Direction in Agriculture package before the end of the present spending round. 
§ Margaret Beckett
EC Regulations stipulate that the money raised from modulation has to be spent within three years of being raised. The first receipts were raised in July 2001; between then and the end of April 2002 nearly £28 million has been collected in England, and nearly £9 million has been spent. Modulation funds are used to secure valuable public benefits through agri-environment schemes, in particular the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and the Environmentally Sensitive 651W Areas scheme. Receipts will be used progressively as new agreements under the schemes are signed, and as old agreements come forward for renewal. I am confident that the funds will be spent before the deadline.