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Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Lucas: The information is as follows:

Total CAP expenditure (EAGGF Guarantee) as a % of total EC expenditure


FEOGA Annual Financial Reports.

Annual Reports of the European Court of Auditors.

IACS Subsidies

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the penalty for not paying out Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) subsidies in time; and whether any such penalty has been imposed on Her Majesty's Government for not paying

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    out 17 per cent. of the IACS by the allotted date in December 1995.

Lord Lucas: IACS is the basis for payment under various CAP schemes including the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS). Where a period for payment is laid down in the European Community regulations for a specific scheme, payments after the end of the period may be subject to a financial correction in the form of a reduction in the re-imbursement from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund of otherwise eligible expenditure. This reduction, which applies to late payments which exceed a margin allowed for difficult cases, increases for each month that the remaining payments are delayed. As only 83 per cent. of payments under the AAPS were paid by 31 December, the end of the period for main payments under the scheme, we expect that the Commission will make such a correction in due course.

IACS Applications: Deadline

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the arrangements for Integrated Administration and Control System applications in England and Wales in 1996.

Lord Lucas: The UK deadline for submitting IACS applications in 1996 will again be the latest possible date of 15 May.

The IACS explanatory booklets and form will be issued in March. We have consulted closely with the industry on the documentation and this year, for the first time, we are introducing a separate booklet and form for livestock farmers who have no interest in the arable area payments scheme. Other changes to the format of the text have been made to make it as helpful and as easy to follow as possible, given the complex nature of the rules. As last year, farmers will be sent a full printout of their 1995 declaration of forage, arable and other land areas, which they must check to ensure the entries are still valid and enter any necessary changes. In addition, this year, they will receive a copy of this printout to keep for their records.

The latest date for applying for new field numbers so that they can be returned in time for farmers to lodge their 1996 IACS applications will be 1 March. Where changes to field boundaries occur after this date, applications for field numbers should accompany the IACS application form. The Government strongly urge farmers to consider now whether they need new field numbers and not leave applying to the last minute.

Arable Area Payments Scheme

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each region administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, how many farmers received or will receive their arable direct-aid payments after 31 December 1995, and what

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    proportion this represents of all farmers in that region entitled to receive such payments.

Lord Lucas: The following table sets out by MAFF region the number of claims under the arable area payments scheme for which main payments had not been issued at 31 December and the percentage of all claims received by that region which these represent:

MAFF RegionPayments not issued by 31 December As percentage of total claims
East Midlands6469
North East1,55022
North Mercia83322
South Mercia2206
South East69714
South West1,31130

Animal Welfare: Consideration at the IGC

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action he will be taking to ensure that the welfare of animals is given proper consideration at the forthcoming Inter-Governmental Conference.

Lord Lucas: In 1992 we secured a declaration, attached to the Maastricht Treaty, on the need to pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals when drafting and implementing Community legislation on the common agricultural policy, transport, the internal market and research. That was a significant advance; the time has now come to build on it. We will be asking our European partners to use the opportunity of the Inter-Governmental Conference to add a protocol to the Treaty of Rome placing a formal legal obligation on the Council of Ministers to give full regard to considerations of animal welfare in the exercise of its powers on agriculture, transport, research and the single market.

MAFF Cash Limits: Changes

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes are proposed in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's cash limits for 1995-96.

Lord Lucas: Parliamentary approval is being sought for a Supplementary Estimate for Class III, Vote 3 (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: operational expenditure), in which the cash limit will be increased by £6,385,000 from £402,545,000 to £408,930,000. Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate the cash limit will then be reduced by £4,672,000 from £408,930,000, to £404,258,000. Within this provision, the cash limit will be reduced by £1,622,000 as a result of a transfer to Vote 4, by a transfer of £2,600,000 to the Office of Science and Technology to cover the cost of redundancies arising amongst staff of the Biotechnology

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and Biological Science Research Council seconded to Horticulture Research International, and by a transfer of £450,000 to the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland for the decommissioning of Nephrops vessels.

In addition, Vote 3 (operational expenditure) will be reduced by a further £1,877,000 from £404,258,000 to £402,381,000. This is a result of a transfer to Class III non-voted expenditure on supplementary credit approvals.

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the cash limit for Class III, Vote 4 (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: departmental research, advisory services and administration, executive agencies and certain other services) will be increased by £3,622,000 from £330,408,000 to £334,030,000. The £3,622,000 arises as a result of a transfer from Vote 3 where it is reflected as reduced provision of £1,622,000 and by end year flexibility of £2,000,000. The gross running costs limit for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will decrease by £11,954,000 from £334,694,000 to £322,740,000.

Tourism: Effect of VAT

Viscount Exmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider the current discrepancies in rates of VAT applicable to tourist goods and services in the member states of the European Union disadvantage the United Kingdom tourism industry; and, if so, what action they intend to take to promote harmonisation of these VAT rates.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The Government do not believe that the application of VAT disadvantages tourism in the UK. We have a lower standard rate than most EU member states and our zero rate is widely applied. In addition, some member states apply local tourist taxes.

Disabled People: Direct Payments in Lieu of Services

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many local authorities in Scotland are making direct payments under Section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to enable (a) individuals and

    (b) voluntary organisations on behalf of individuals to purchase community care services.

The Lord Advocate (Lord Mackay of Drumadoon):I refer the noble Earl to the Answer which my noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Scottish Office (the Earl of Lindsay) gave to him on 25 January. During the year 1994-95, each regional and islands council except Central, Dumfries and Galloway and Tayside made emergency cash payments under Section 12 of

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the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to individuals to enable them to purchase, for example, heating and food and other services. Local authorities have powers under Section 10(3) of the 1968 Act to make payments to certain voluntary organisations which may be used to assist individual adults purchase community care services.

Lifting: Health and Safety Guidance

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Department of Health has issued guidelines, or any other form of advice, recommending that nurses or social workers should

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    not be asked to lift weights above 16.6 kilogrammes; and if so, what is the origin of the advice; and whether they still endorse that advice.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): No such guidance has been issued by the Department of Health, but the Health and Safety Executive provides guidelines for employers when assessing the risks to health of their employees from manual handling activities. The guidance which mentions the 16.6 kilogrammes is intended to alert employers of the need for a detailed risk assessment. They do not represent weight limits for lifting. The National Health Service Executive drew attention to these and related regulations in EL(93)66, a copy of which is in the Library.

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