- The Order is to be made under sections 1, 3, 4, and 8 of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947 (c.40).
- Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). It is Government policy that such statements also be made in respect of Statutory Instruments requiring the approval of both Houses of Parliament before they are made. On [... ... ...], the Parliamentary Under Secretary (Lords) in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs made the following statement:
"In my view the provisions of the Potato Industry Development Council (Amendment) Order 2002 are compatible with the Convention rights."
Wider legislative context
- The Potato Industry Development Council Order 1997 was made under the terms of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947. This is an Act providing for the establishment of development councils to perform certain functions aimed at the improvement and development of the industry.
- In the first report of the statutory review of the BPC in 2000, a recommendation was made to look at the fairness of the levy and examine alternative arrangements. The proposed amendments are in response to this recommendation.
Content of the Order
- This Order amends the Potato Industry Development Council Order 1997 (S.I. 1997/266) as amended by the Potato Industry Development Council (Amendment) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/1413), in the following ways:
· an increase in the registration thresholds from one to three hectares (growers), and from 100 to 1,000 tonnes per annum (purchasers) - it is uneconomic to collect levy from low volume growers and purchasers. The proposed thresholds make collection economic and could save the BPC up to £40,000 in administrative costs a year. There should also be a cost saving to the industry of around £99,000;
· a higher levy rate for both growers and purchasers; a basic rate where payments are received by the due date, and a higher rate for those which are not. The higher rate payments are designed to help recoup the additional costs arising from late payments, including legal procedures;
· a change in the due date for receipt of the grower levy from 1 November to 1 December - to extend the window for payment of the basic rate of levy;
· a change in the statutory date for making planting returns from 15 May to 1 June - this will allow returns to be made with greater certainty in seasons when planting conditions are difficult;
· an increase in the area levy maximum from £40 per hectare to £50 per hectare - this is to increase the grower levy ceiling - not the actual levy being paid. It will provide the necessary leeway for the higher rate of payment which is now proposed. The maximum of £0.25 per tonne for purchasers already provides enough leeway;
· estimates where returns have not been submitted to be based on the previous year's returns plus up to 10% - this provides flexibility for the Council to use an estimate based on the previous year's figures increased by up to 10% where a grower or producer has not submitted a return by the due date.
- The Amendment Order also tidies up the Order by updating references to the Potato Marketing Board (which the BPC succeeded). A further amendment will allow for the names of directors to be held on the BPC register.
- The BPC estimate that these changes have the potential to save £40,000 a year in administrative costs after offsetting the reduction in levy income. There should also be a cost saving to the industry of around £99,000.
Cost to the Public
- There are no costs to the public as a result of this Order.
Costs to the Exchequer
- There are no costs to the Exchequer as a result of this Order.
- The Order applies to Wales, and is made concurrently by the National Assembly for Wales and the Minister for Rural Affairs. National Assembly procedures for approving the draft Order are taking place in parallel with the approval of the Order by Parliament.
- This Order is made with the consent of the Scottish Executive.