I had concluded all I wanted to say for the moment. There is only one other factor I would like to add in relation to the scheme of allowances. Opposition Deputies queried a statement that was made by the Government last year. I indicated to them what that statement involved. I will recap at this point. It provided for a reduction of the capital allowances across a range of activities in the farming area, in the first instance on farm works and development, farm buildings and farm plant and machinery. That was the scheme as announced last year to be implemented this year. In the event the modifications on that scheme culminating in what I have announced now in this amendment yesterday are very significant. In my budget statement I indicated that I did not intend to proceed with the restrictions on capital allowances for farm buildings or for farm development works generally in the interests of promoting the development of agriculture to the maximum extent. Deputies will know now the remaining restriction relating to farm plant and machinery and, as a consequence of the discussions which I have had with leaders of farm organisations, I have decided also in respect of that remaining restriction to exclude from that farm plant and machinery which is fixed in farm buildings. It might be, as I indicated, that freedom of manoeuvre in this area is limited by not just the attitude of farmers but the attitude of others towards farm taxation. The House should be aware of that.
I am trying to steer a middle course in the interests of equity between the various sectors and at the same time to respond to the development potential of farmers. I think that what I have done here strikes that balance, and the revenue implications of this in a full year, as distinct from what would have been available to the revenue had the original package as announced been proceeded with this year, will be a reduction of something of the order of £2.5 million. I mention this particularly to those Deputies—there were some and there is no point in personalising this too much either in respect of me or of Deputies on the other side—who chose to say that I show no sensitivity to the farm sector and that this Government are not concerned, although whether those Deputies believe that is another matter. The discussions that we have had culminating in this amendment illustrate the understanding and agreement that we have reached with the farmers in what is a difficult time in which one has to balance and be seen to balance the revenue needs also, as between the various sectors. I will, as I have indicated, be introducing another amendment later in respect of stock relief which will reduce the incidence of tax on crops by anything up to about £2.5 million per year. That is the measure of the importance that I attach to agricultural development, and I hope it will be seen as such.