THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you all very much. I think we are now ready to have our final statements on this, but before we do that, Victoria has a question she is going to put and that will give Bill time to collect his thoughts, which I have to say he does not need. And then we will go around the table
DR VICTORIA EDWARDS: Can I pick up more or less where we left off before tea, and that was the discussion regarding re-employment of people that might be made redundant if there were a ban. You quote in 6.4.7 some survey based research that you have done and I wondered if you could give us a bit more detail about that; I am particularly concerned about its relevance in terms of timing. It looks like it was done towards a year when we were coming out of recession, the extent to which large bodies of people might have been made redundant in one location, really whether the data involved in that survey is relevant to this scenario?
MR MOORE: It is 6.4.7? Oh yes, right. Yes, this was a study carried out by PACEC for the DFEE at the beginning of the 1990s, which attempted to assess the probabilities of re-employment of those workers made redundant in large-scale redundancies, and the survey was based on around 3,500 employees made redundant at the beginning of the 1990s. What it did was to track their route through the labour market following the redundancy for a period of about two years and a survey was done at the point of redundancy and then subsequently, and you are quite right, the survey was done when the economy was not at perhaps the deepest point in recession, but it was still a relatively depressed economy in 1992/1993. I think the probabilities in the timing of redeployment therefore tend to be rather pessimistic, say by comparison with what would be likely to happen today should the same study be undertaken. The estimates of the probability of finding alternative employment were based on two main groups of factors: Firstly, the characteristics of the individuals who were made redundant, most importantly their age, their gender, their skill and, indeed, whether or not they received redundancy payments, et cetera, and, secondly, the nature of the local economy in which the redundancy occurred. What we did was to compute on the characteristics of the individuals and the characteristics of the local economy. We computed the probability of finding employment, becoming active or going into training, or whatever, and we also looked at the timing at which redeployment would take place. So that is the basis of these figures and the parameters used in them, developed in that exercise. They are, I believe, still being used by the DFEE in assessing the profile and the impact of large scale redundancies. So that is the nature of the figures, how they are computed. I accept that the two year period is probably on the long side in terms of over half of them eventually finding a job. Today we might shorten that period of redeployment, but, equally, the displacement figures are likely to be lower as well. Do I need to say any more?
THE CHAIRMAN: No
DR VICTORIA EDWARDS: Just one quick question: I suppose I am particularly interested in the more disparate nature of people directly employed by hunting and your reference to large-scale employment. Are we talking about a large number of people in one location?
MR MOORE: We are talking about, I think, six different locations and the large number of redundancies, sometimes spread over a period of time, so we are talking about closures of coal mining in Mansfield; we are talking about closure of Ravenscraig; we are talking about bank closure and ICI closure and so on, British Aerospace closure and I would expect that the parameters in terms of the redeployment potential are likely to be very similar if one were to do the study for a number of other types of redundancy. The key things are clearly the skill, the age and the gender. They turn out to be those attributes that critically determine your potential for redeployment.
DR RICKARD: It does occur to me that in this case here perhaps one might find some useful data provided by studies of agricultural people who have been made redundant or left their jobs. As has been pointed out, many thousands of them, and how quickly did they find re-employment, and I think that would provide you with quite a good guide if (inaudible).
THE CHAIRMAN: Have there been made such studies? We certainly do not have time in the next fortnight.
DR RICKARD: Off the top of my head, yes and I can let Professor Hervey Gibson have details.
MR MOORE: I think it has to be recognised that one of the key parameters here is displacement. It may well be if you track a particular individual they find employment, but they do so at the expense of somebody maybe taking their job. The displacement ratio would depend on the local economy which, in turn, depends on the national economy.
MR SWANN: Thank you, Lord Burns, these are our wrapping up statements.
THE CHAIRMAN: They are.
MR SWANN: On behalf of Deadline 2000, which for those that are unsure is the RSPCA IFAW and the League Against Cruel Sports, I would like to, first of all, welcome the study that we have heard today. I think I found it extremely useful for several reasons: One is it has helped to explain why there are such apparently great differences between previous studies and it is now possible to see why that might be the case. I think the methodology that you have developed is extremely useful in that it does allow us to have a look at a number of "what if" situations in order to look at difference in areas related to those things that it is just absolutely impossible to quantify and, in that respect, I think its use is still to be fully exploited. We have always accepted at Deadline 2000 that there would be some loss of jobs and Sir John Marsh brought this point up in the oral submissions in that the least skilled workers, those who are directly employed by hunts, are going to suffer some degree of short-term hardship and it would be inappropriate of us to state otherwise. I would point out, however, that one area that has not been discussed today is the potential for re-employment in farm waste disposal and I flagged this up previously, but it is an area where there is considerable interest in the problems of disposing of waste from farms, both toxic waste, animal waste and plastics waste. Consultations are under go at the moment. It is at an early stage, but the likelihood is there will be jobs in those categories for which displaced people may find suitable employment. Drag hunting has been difficult because we cannot say how many people will convert to drag hunting, but even if a percentage do, then this will also take up some of those jobs that are lost from direct employment. I think the final point that I would like to say is that hunting has been described to us and it is my belief that this is quite correct, it is a cosmopolitan activity in that the people who hunt are not a small elite, they are not a small elite who will go to Ireland to hunt or go to the Bahamas or go skiing and doing all these other displacement activities we have heard about. These are ordinary people who farm or work in the rural economy, who enjoy riding horses, and hunting is but one small part of that enjoyment. I think the numbers of horses in the event of a hunting ban that will go out of the economy is very, very small. As most of the expenditure is generated by horse ownership, I think the effect on the economy will be proportionately small. Money will stay in the economy and many of the indirect effects, although there will be some, will take place over a longer period of time and there will be adaptation and there will be readjustment. I think that is perhaps stating the obvious for somebody who is not an economist but, nonetheless, I do believe that the impact of a ban on hunting, although there will be short-term hurt for a small number of people, the overall effects will be much less than may appear. Thank you very much Chairman.
DR RICKARD: Lord Burns, I will try not to be repetitive. Can I say that I sympathise with the report. This is an almost impossible thing to do to produce an accurate measure of the outcome of the, if I might say so, without upsetting anyone, such a small sector of the economy. Let me try and be a little positive. It strikes me there are three elements as far as the impact on the rural economy is concerned. There is the shock, if you like, to those who are directly employed by hunts who undoubtedly would suffer unemployment as a result of a ban on hunting with dogs and, in some respects, our data on that is pretty good. There seems to be large-scale agreement on the numbers who will be affected. Turning to the induced effects I find myself in agreement with Professor George Peters. A lot of this expenditure is going to go back into the economy. Such expenditure can be taken out of the equation as in effect we are taking money from both sides of the account. So where is the main focus? It is on the expenditure by the hunt followers and we have heard a lot of discussion today about how biased or not the data are and exactly how much these people spend at the moment on hunting and exactly how much they might spend on equivalent activities, or indeed other rural activities, in the event of a ban. If I might suggest, this is going to be an area where no one is going to be able to provide you with a definitive answer. There is much to be said for providing a limited number of projections around variations of the key assumptions and I think you would be almost as well off to fall back on an amount of expenditure and apply normal multipliers to it including employment multipliers. When you have done that, of course then the last issue becomes how long, how likely is it that these people will be re-employed and for that I fall back on the other points I made a few minutes ago. Thank you very much.
DR CRABTREE: Thank you, Lord Burns. I still have the same points I have made during the proceedings. I will try and not repeat them all. I certainly agree with Sean, I think he implied the hunt data is in a sense pretty clear cut and what happens after a ban to the hunts is clear cut. It is the followers that are the difficult area, both in surveying and in the analysis of their behaviour following a ban, so I think any additional effort should go there. I suggested there should be greater clarity in the methodology so it is more transparent, which would avoid a lot of the sort of queries that I think have come up today. On the FTE and job figures, it seemed to me that that certainly needed more explanation, and I thought it would be more helpful if you did not present results which mixed up FTEs and jobs on the same diagram, because they are fundamentally different in this context or part-time and it seems to just add confusion because the reader does not immediately see that this is what is happening and make straight comparisons. The point I raised before about re-injection, that I do not think is in here, of the saved expenditure, particularly by the followers. A lot of expenditure there. Lord Burns assures us that they are all going to spend this rather than save it, so even if you have no survey evidence you could make some assumptions about whether they might save it and what impact this could have on the economy. We have actually estimated that in Scotland, but I think the results will not be out in time for you to pick those up as to what people say they are going to do.
THE CHAIRMAN: Tell us.
DR CRABTREE: I am not able to tell you, no. The point about the farmers I raised, that is what is going to happen if there is a ban in terms, particularly of fox catching, in terms of their costs and output, and also in summary, it would be helpful to know where the impacts are going to be and what the sort of groups in society are going to be most affected. I think that is in the report already. What sort of businesses, what sort of employees and where in England -- and I am not very clear on the English geography of foxhunting but maybe in Somerset or some part of England the effects are going to be major and other parts not. I think that would add a little context in terms of the spacial effect. Thank you.
MR ANDREWES: Really two questions. The factual issues: I think it is encouraging that where the quality of the data and the scope of the samples has been good, we have a strong measure of agreement between the various studies. Where because of time or people's willingness to respond we have a smaller sample or less exact data, the numbers are very different. I mean, it just seems to me inherently unlikely that there are only 50 per cent more people employed by all of the followers of hunting compared with those employed by the hunts themselves. Just look at the numbers of people around the country. It just looks to be too low a figure and I think there are areas where we could get nearer the facts on things, like multiple subscriptions, the numbers of hunters per household etc. This will have a big impact on the final number. But they are susceptible to research; they are questions of fact. I would make two further points, please. Could you try to reconcile in the final report the figures that came out of the Cobham and the Produce Studies surveys, which were exacting and expensive surveys carried out over a substantial period; there are some very valuable facts to be got at. Secondly, could you try to include the question of the tourism expenditure, the expenditure by non-hunting individuals, some of the areas which we have identified and which do seem to have been slipped through the net. The second category are areas of judgment; what percentage of expenditure on horses should be related to hunting if they are used for other things; what will people actually do if hunting is banned? I do not think these are subject to factual analysis; I think they are questions of judgment and all, again, I would say, let us see what the figures tell us with the number of different assumptions. At the end of the day it is going to be your subjective view as to what is appropriate. I do not think any of us can suggest a proper line of fact. We need to recognise that. Thank you.
MS JAMES: Very briefly one or two points to make. I think there has been some useful discussion about using the methodology and the model established in this research for evaluating the potential outcomes of a ban on hunting. One of the issues that I think has not been brought out in the discussion so far is, out of all the scenarios, if hunting is banned after 10 years when we have been discussing things like flesh collection et cetera. If the hunts do not exist in some shape or form, who will actually organise and pay for that activity. That brings me to questions we have mentioned previously about alternative employment in things like flesh collection activity and the integration between the hunting and farming economies which is clearly very close. I do not think that has perhaps been addressed in sufficient detail in the research. Finally, on the consideration of the growth in the wider rural economy and the employment trends that we have been discussing, I think talking about things on a national basis still masks considerable regional and even smaller than regional differences and specific areas of high unemployment and economic deprivation. I think there has to be a more detailed examination on a regional basis, but also on specific localities to evaluate the potential outcomes in very small areas.
PROFESSOR GEORGE PETERS: Very quickly. This is good stuff, given the time that was involved in doing it. It is very interesting and I think the basic ideas are right. It needs a bit of tidying up. The figures in the text are not easily reconcilable always with the figures in the matrices and I would like to see the matrices balanced out and the balancing item explained. But this, I feel, is relatively trivial technical stuff at this stage of the game. The most important point I think is the one that Bill Andrewes was making. There are slightly puzzling differences still between the three sets of estimates that are represented in this room and I think a little bit of effort might go into sorting that out. In essence the survey of previous work is a little bit thin, needs some filling out of detail. Again, I do not see that this is a fantastic point of principle, but it is another tidying up exercise. The final point is that the numbers are not large, provided they can be reconciled and defended against numbers which are larger. Thank you.
MR WAKEHAM: Lord Burns, I think I probably come from a slightly different direction to most people around this table in that we are interested in the equestrian economy, not just in hunting. It just so happens that hunting happens to be part of the equestrian economy. We made a decision five years ago to allocate substantial funds to try to find out the size and nature of the equestrian industry. £145,000 over four years, and we did not spend that money lightly. We went through a pretty rigorous procedure to establish who would be the best people to do this work for us, and we came to the conclusion that Produce Studies were the people, and we have not been disappointed. All the work that has been done subsequently on behalf of the Alliance with whom we have no connection at all was as a result of that first study that they did for us. So I think a lot of the answers to some of the problems that have been discussed around the table today are actually contained in that work and we would be very happy to make it available to the researchers. I did say that it was going to cost them £295, but I might even throw in a little bit of a discount if I was feeling generous. Anyway, there it is. That is all I really want to say. I do think there is a lot of information there which actually none of us around this table know enough about.
MR CORBETT: Lord Burns, may I thank Anthony for his very kind remarks.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is commercial!
MR CORBETT: I will pay afterwards. I would just like to concentrate upon the two areas where we are in -- contention is possibly the wrong word, but where the really big differences lie. That is, first of all, in direct employment. In both of these cases my problem is actually not with the model; it is with the data collection mechanism and the data that is going into them. On the direct employment we are not arguing about the 711 directly employed by hunts and this is, as Bill was saying, this is four people per hunt. What is then unbelievable is that the hunt members are only collectively employing 7.5 full-time persons within each hunt, all the hunt members in each hunt and there are actually an average of 93.8 families, groupings, members, in each hunt, each of the 178 foxhound packs in the UK, and if each of those groups of 93 are only employing 7.5 employees, that means that there is only one employer in each 12.5, only 8 per cent of people who are hunting employ somebody to look after their horses. Well, frankly, I do not believe this. It is just not credible. In the Produce Studies Survey it shows that 46 per cent employ some labour, albeit some of that is part-time and 22 per cent of hunt members employ full-time labour. That compares to the 8 per cent if we take this. So I do feel that we have a serious problem in this employment data coming from this survey and I am afraid that in a very modest way I remain convinced the Produce Studies employment data is fully sustainable. On the indirect employment side we have produced a far less sophisticated methodology than we have heard about today, and I would be quite prepared to accept that there should be modifications to this. However, I would stick to the fact that expenditure by hunt members, other than direct employment, is around the 200 million a year mark. In my simple mind you then can divide that by what you like; you take the GDP figure which everyone tells us is wrong; that came to 8,700 people. If you take the Sports Council figure which I mentioned a bit ago, 30,000, that comes to 6,600 FTEs. If you want to go up to £60,000 per full-time job, that comes down to 3,300, so I would accept that there could be modification here, but all those though are significantly more than is being suggested from the study today. Thirdly, I think the point has been made before, we still have to remember whenever we talk about FTEs and placement that there are people behind these figures. Thank you very much.
DR WARD: I think it has been an interesting day and I think I get the sense that the longer time goes on the more this debate about the economic aspects of hunting becomes more detailed and sophisticated and the areas of agreement become more numerous, so I think that is a good thing. I found the report helpful and there were some interesting new thoughts and findings in it to my mind. It has been about two and a half years since I last concentrated in any detail on the debate about the hunting economy, and that was initially to do some work for the BBC and then to do the wider critique for IFAW. I have never come across the point about multiple hunt membership before. That was a new one to me and I thought that the discussion that took place was quite useful in refining the parameters of the significance of that point or not. I thought that the model was very interesting and I was happy with the way that the model had some checks in it for cross-checking these two different components of estimates which I think is an improvement on some other figures. I still remain mystified about why two part-time jobs Then equals one FTE. I have always been a bit mystified by that. I do not know whether there is the scope actually in the in the next week or so to look in a little more depth there at the robustness of that assumption. But still, at the end of the day, to me the point that I was keen to make two years ago still stands. There is a world of difference -- the point you have made today, Lord Burns -- in identifying the number of jobs associated with hunting and then using that figure to assert that all of those jobs would automatically be lost if there were a ban. I think that is being claimed less and less now. That is all.
MR COBHAM: You will not be surprised that at the end of the day much as I applaud -- and I say that sincerely -- the work of the consultants in developing the model and the methodology, I find myself very disappointed. The reasons for the large discrepancies between the PACEC Estimates and those generated by earlier studies have not been pin-pointed. I did not necessarily expect the full explanations/reconciliations To be provded today, but I consider that it needs to be done on three counts. Firstly, on the count of the number of Participants: mounted followers, foot and car borne followers; secondly, on direct employment by participants; and thirdly, in terms of direct expenditure by mounted followers. Now, if you will allow me, Lord Burns, I have been involved for the past year on some primary research relating to seven hunts in the borders of Scotland and I wish to bring to the consultants', the committee's and everyone else's attention some preliminary results that have emerged from that. The level of sampling and response has been good and there has been quite a sophisticated approach to its analysis. There is no input/output assessment at this stage. We are dealing purely with direct expenditure and direct employment at this stage. First of all, bearing in mind that there was some question about the impartiality of CRC's work earlier, I would like to display here, as I do right at the outset, this has been taken undertaken, this work, for the Borders Foundation for Rural Sustainability and, as in the case of the standing conference for countryside sports, fox hunting is not the main focus of the research; it forms actually a small component of a much bigger study that is related to diversification and the generation of jobs in the rural economy, particularly relating to the fall-out as a result of declines in agricultural turnover and profitability. The researchers addressed all of the typical problems that have confronted our consultants, all of our consultants here today. Now the purpose of this exercise, Lord Burns and committee members, is just to do a broad raincheck, nothing more, on the earlier extrapolation and grossing up exercises done by Produce Studies and ourselves, and try to apply that to England and Wales as a whole. If we extrapolate on the basis of those seven hunts we end up with a grossed up figure of participant expenditure of between 175 million and 225, and that is broadly in accordance with, (a) the work that we have previously done, and likewise Produce Studies. If we look at the full-time employment, the direct employment, you will see that we end up with similar methodology between 4 and a half and just over 5,000 FTEs which is lower -- and I fully acknowledge that -- than the earlier estimate which the CRC was responsible for before, and I give a range of job estimates of between 11 and 14,000 in very broad terms. Now, it does seem to me, Lord Chairman, that on the basis of this we have further evidence of the need for reconciliation. I have sort to help in that respect because it is important. Consistent with the fact that PACEC have made recommendations. I should just like, if I may, to Request, in terms of the focus for future research that rather than basing their model on a 0.5 per cent sample of participants, can we please have a full survey of participant's direct expenditure and direct employment, so that there can be no doubt about what is actually taking place on the ground. I am not talking about small samples. I am talking about providing reliable estimates, which will presumably have to be done after the Committee reports. Thank you.
THE CHAIRMAN: We had a rule about the seminar that one could not to introduce papers more than -- I think two or three days in advance. I have only let you go on because it is the final statement. It is not a matter for discussion and all I can do is ask the team to have a look at it, as it does relate directly to one of the issues that has been raised. I do not propose to discuss it further.
MR MOORE: I suppose, firstly, in terms of the expectations of what we thought this meeting would yield, the fruits of this meeting, I think to a considerable extent they have been met. I think we have all found the meeting extremely valuable and what we have done is I suppose two very important things. One is to identify the areas of uncertainty which form the basis of the estimates, and we have been able to do that in the context of a methodological framework which I sense, listening to what people said, is broadly acceptable, so I think what we have achieved is, firstly, some understanding of where we differ and why we differ and we have done so within a framework of analysis which enables us to try to reconcile and perhaps further understand where those differences occur and do more work before we finalise the report, and I think that in itself is very encouraging. I think the second point is that I think we recognise at the outset that this was a very small sample and there were good reasons for this. Most importantly, the timespan over which the study had to be undertaken, and we know that the sampling errors were likely to be quite large, and I think that what we would like to do in the next stage of the work in producing the final report is to use the evidence in the larger sample; perhaps not to pay the £295, but to use that evidence, and on the basis of the larger sample to begin to understand where we should pitch what we might call the mean value of this critical parameters that we have talked about today and then to re-run the model and to set the outputs of the model in terms not of point estimates perhaps, but in terms of ranges which we believe are plausible, given the differences that remain when we have looked at the larger samples. That is one thing I would like to see done before the final draft report comes out. I think the other thing I think is important as well is that I think there are one or two methodological flaws in the way in which we have developed the scenarios and I would like to correct those, but also perhaps to take your views on whether you think the scenarios that we have set down -- we will not presumably do this in writing, Lord Burns -- are in a sense plausible scenarios to be considering, so that is why I find the whole day really very encouraging and I hope we could converge and no doubt we will continue to differ, but at least we will understand why more clearly when the final draft report is produced.
PROFESSOR HERVEY GIBSON: I have two small technician points really. One is, and I have forgotten where it has come from, somebody suggested we use the model as a way of looking at the different individual assumptions of the scenario and that seemed to me a very useful thing to do, and particularly some of the full-time horses, full-time people, full-time employees and all of those assumptions, they can easily be accommodated in the model. Secondly, the whole point of having a model is that you can explore things and play with it, and it would be most helpful to have suggestions from the Committee and the other advisers as to the games we ought to play with the model as a way of helping us understand the real world.
MR COX: I would only reiterate that, yes, it has become very clear that perhaps the best way that we as the research team can use the remaining time available to us is to try and help everyone to understand why there is the big difference in estimates of the direct effects attributable to followers and also in our own work to show how sensitive estimates are to different assumptions, different data inputs.
THE CHAIRMAN: I am very grateful to everyone. Thank you to the team for the paper. I have also found the discussion encouraging. I am very grateful to everyone for handling it in a positive way. I think we have gone some way in identifying some of the differences between various studies and the points where the assumptions become important. It is going to be interesting to try to look just a little bit further at a range of assumptions on one or two things. But I felt that a lot of good and interesting points have come out of the discussion. Once again, I am very grateful for the way in which everybody has conducted the seminar. I can only apologise for the extraordinary time pressures that are involved in all of these things. I can merely say that we are terribly conscious of this ourselves. This is a case of mutual suffering, as far as the pressure is concerned, but thank you. Thank you very much.
(The hearing adjourned)
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