Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:13 pm on 11th February 2020.

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George Dunn:

You would not expect me not to disagree with what Judicaelle has said about AHA tenancies. If we trusted the landlord community with farm business tenancies to deliver sustainable, long-term, sensible tenancies, we would not be hanging on to the AHA tenancies as much as we are. Sadly, the landlord community has not played the game well in terms of farm business tenancies, in the way that they have delivered those.

The commercial unit test that Judicaelle talked about is a capricious test. It hits people when there is a death out of time, or people who are badly advised. That is all. It is a very expensive test to have advisers help you through. In essence, the Bill is about productivity and increasing efficiency. Having the commercial unit test in place hits those individuals who have been go-ahead, and have been looking to get themselves on rather than waiting for dad or mum to die in order to get the tenancy of the farm. Why should they be penalised when they have been the ones who have been go-ahead, and those who are not so go-ahead get the opportunity to succeed?