HC Deb 01 April 1974 vol 871 cc245-6W
Mr. Ovenden

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what arrangements she is making to implement the increase in the general butter subsidy authorised in the European Economic Community regulations.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

As from today the general consumer subsidy on butter has increased to the equivalent of over 5½p per lb. The existing rate of £46½94 per long ton is being increased to £126½75 per long ton on all butter intended for retail sale. The additional cost in 1974–75 resulting from the increase in the subsidy is estimated at £33 million, which will fall within the overall limits indicated in the Budget Statement. A Supplementary Estimate will be presented to the House in due course.

The Government's decision to increase the subsidy means that there will be no increase in the price of United Kingdom butter as a result of the decisions taken in Brussels on 23rd March on EEC farm prices for 1974–75. Since some imported butters had increased in price prior to the Community price decisions the increased subsidy can be expected to result in some reductions of prices of imported and blended butters in the shops.

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