HC Deb 21 March 1991 vol 188 cc395-6
16. Mr. Madden

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what improvements he plans to the scheme to distribute butter and meat.

Mr. Curry

This year I intend to give preference to organisations capable of distributing products widely throughout their community and to groups of smaller organisations co-operating in the same locality.

Mr. Madden

Will the Minister admit that his organisation of the scheme has been the target for widespread criticism? As organisations have to receive a minimum of 1 tonne of butter or meat, may I ask him to do everything possible to help with transport costs? Will he ensure that the butter and meat are available to the largest number of people, including all pensioners and not just those on income support?

Mr. Curry

No, I will not. It would be ridiculous to try to distribute the food to all old-age pensioners. I can think of some old-age pensioners in the House who have no need of hand-outs from the taxpayer. It is much better for the food to be directed to the homeless, the destitute, those on income support, those on family credit and those living in hostels, as was intended. That is a much better solution to a rather bad scheme.