§ EARL FERRERS rose to move, That the Draft Calf Subsidies (United Kingdom) (Variation) (No. 2) Scheme 1973, laid before the House on March 21, be approved. The noble Earl said: My Lords, this Draft Scheme gives effect to the changes in the rates of calf subsidies announced by my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, also on March 21. The changes this Scheme will make are that the rate for steers would be reduced from £11.25 to £8.50, and the rate for heifers from £9 to £6.50. The new rates apply to calves born on or after April 16, 1973. Since the subsidy is generally paid on calves when they are eight months or more old, the reduced rates would not become effective until the autumn of this year.
§ There is a high rate of expansion in both the beef and the dairy herds, and farmers are clearly responding to higher market prices. The Government consider that a reduction in the calf subsidy is therefore a sensible move which will not prejudice farmers' returns and which will make a worthwhile saving in the cost of support. The reductions are about one quarter of the present rates for the 441 calf subsidies and in a full year would mean a saving of about £8 million. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Draft Calf Subsidies (United Kingdom) (Variation) (No. 2) Scheme 1973, laid before the House on March 21, be approved.—(Earl Ferrers.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.