Defra to scrap Agricultural Wages Board

Defra is to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board as part of environment secretary Caroline Spelman's reformation of 30 of Defra's 90 arm's length bodies.

Caroline Spelman said:

"This Government is committed to being the greenest Government ever and the Structural Reform Plan published last week sets out how Defra will play its part in achieving this.  Reducing the deficit is priority for the Government and all departments are playing their part in making efficiency savings.

"Together with Chris Huhne I am determined to play the lead role in driving the sustainability agenda across the whole of government and I am not willing to delegate this responsibility to an external body.

"The effective delivery of public services is essential and I am committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of Defra’s public bodies and to reducing their numbers and costs.  Times have changed since many of these bodies were set up and much of what they do is now everyday Government business."

The Agricultural Wages Board, the 15 Agricultural Wages Committees and the 16 Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees were established by the 1948 Agricultural Wages Act and are affiliated to Defra. The Committee on Agricultural Valuation was established by the Agricultural Holdings Act in 1986.

Agriculture and horticulture workers in England and Wales will now come under National Minimum Wage.

Other bodies involved in the review include the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), where Defra funding is being withdrawn plus the abolition of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and the Commons Commissioners.


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