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What progress she is making in reducing the burden of regulation on farmers.
I know that the Government have done more than the previous Labour Administration on tackling regulations on farmers, but there are still many outstanding issues to be addressed. Today, when I spoke to Mr Stuart Jones from Asterley in my constituency, he highlighted additional complications. Will the Secretary of State redouble her efforts to tackle the number of regulations faced by our farmers?
I completely agree with my hon. Friend. We are making our inspection regime much more risk based, so that farmers who do the right thing and who are part of schemes such as Red Tractor or Pig and Poultry get fewer inspections, whereas those who mistreat animals or harm the environment get more of the Government’s attention.
Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) (Lab):
The common agricultural policy payment scheme is being used to trial the Government’s new identity assurance scheme, Verify, but actual authentication is carried out by the private sector company, Experian. Farmers without a credit history are not being authenticated and are not getting their payments. Is getting into debt now a new regulation to be followed before farmers can be paid?
The hon. Lady is absolutely right, and we are introducing a new scheme. It is important that we do this in an efficient way. We are using and working on a cross-government process to assure identity.