HC Deb 14 June 1961 vol 642 cc56-7W
Sir A. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what revised estimate he has made of the cost of the subsidy to barley growers in 1961–62 if the price of feeding barley settles at £16 a ton due to the continued unloading in the United Kingdom of Russian and French barley at an uneconomically low price; and to what extent he estimates the extra barley subsidy would be offset by a saving in feeding costs for livestock producers with consequent effect on the pig and egg subsidies.

Mr. Soames

If the average price realised for all home-grown barley from the 1961 crop falls to £16 per ton, the total subsidy on the crop would rise to about £48 million compared with the latest forecast of £35½ million for the 1960 crop.

I cannot give any reliable estimate of the extent to which a higher barley subsidy would be offset by Exchequer savings through the operation of the feed formula for pigs and poultry because there are so many uncertain factors involved. But assuming that the price charged for barley or barley meal in the standard feed rations were also reduced by £3 10s. per ton and that the prices of all other constituents were unchanged, the subsidy saving on pigs and eggs might be of the order of £6 million per annum.

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