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Lord Carter: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the noble Earl for giving way. I apologise for having to continually intervene, but let us put the record straight. We have not said anything of that sort at all. We have merely said that we shall be prepared to consult in order to consider the possibility of inheritance tax relief for the owners of let land as long as that can be deemed to be fiscally neutral--in other words, that it will not cost the Treasury any more. As the noble Earl knows, there are many, many loopholes in tax law not only as regards inheritance tax, but generally. All we have said is that as long as there is not any extra cost to the Treasury, we are prepared to consider the matter and no more than that.
The noble Lord, Lord Gallacher, referred to problems of privity of contract. I do not expect significant problems with the likely length of terms for agricultural tenancies. The parties have the option of using break clauses to end a tenancy early or of agreeing terms for the surrender of a tenancy. The Government intend to bring forward proposals for the reform of the law on
The noble Lord, Lord Gallacher, also commented that there was no reference to CAP rules in the Bill. One particular virtue of that is that it provides more flexibility to adapt to future policy changes whether they be from Brussels, Whitehall or wherever. Parties will be able to respond to circumstances by adjusting their own tenancy agreements rather than being bound by the detailed tenancy legislation.
There is general agreement--even, I venture to suggest, among noble Lords opposite--that the continuing decline of the tenanted sector calls for government action. We have brought forward a set of coherent proposals that command a wider degree of support from all sides of the industry than most people
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