§ Albert Owen
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department will put in place under the CAP decoupling proposals to protect the future of(a) local authority owned and (b) other small farms following the proposal to pay a single subsidy payment to the tenant and to allow the tenant to retain the entitlement payments; and whether it is her policy that the subsidy remain with the farm rather than with the tenant. 
§ Mr. Morley
The Government are not convinced of the need for such measures. In order to claim the proposed single payment, those holding entitlements would need to farm, or at least keep in good agricultural condition, an equivalent number of hectares to that which established the entitlement. This means there are likely to be many farmers, including tenants, with an entitlement who would need to find land to attach it to in order to generate payments. Consequently, our initial assessment is that, while we might expect a greater equalisation of agricultural land values, a marked change in average values seems unlikely. It follows that, while individual circumstances would vary, landowners, including local authorities and small farmers, would continue to experience a benefit from CAP subsidies. The Government supports the Commission proposal that entitlements should be allocated to active farmers, whether they be owner/occupiers or tenants.