HC Deb 15 May 1968 vol 764 c1209
19. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated annual cost to producers and public funds, respectively, of the Egg Marketing Board.

Mr. Hoy

Excluding payments to producers, total expenditure by the Board in 1966–67 was £22.7 million primarily in respect of marketing expenses which are defrayed out of trading receipts. The only cost falling directly on producers was the Board's levy on sales amounting to £1.37 million which was used to meet in part the cost of the Board's research and publicity programme. The cost of the Board to public funds is nil.

Mr. Biffen

Even on those figures, does the hon. Gentleman accept that on any cost the Egg Marketing Board is very bad value? Would he comment on the sharp criticisms of it by the Government-appointed Consumers Committee?

Mr. Hoy

No, Sir, I would not care to comment at the moment. A Committee is investigating the Board at present and the time for comment will be when its report has been received.