Written Answers. - Farm Improvement Programme.

106.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will take immediate action to ensure the present partial labour unit system in the farm improvement grants is abolished; if he will also ensure that the flexi milk situation will not be included to deprive farmers of much needed assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

In accordance with advice received from the EC Commission, the maximum amount of investment that may be aided for an improvement plan taken out under the farm improvement programme is determined by the number of man work units, or part man work unit, appropriate to the farm enterprises at the end of the improvement plan. It is not possible, therefore, to allow aid for investment appropriate to a full man work unit where the labour requirement is less than one man work unit.

Council Regulation (EEC) No. 797/85 provides that aid for investment in milk production may be given only if an applicant's milk production is within his permanent milk quota. Accordingly fleximilk may not be taken into account in deciding on an applicant's eligibility for aid for dairy investment.