§ Mr. Pym
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement regarding his policy intentions for the period after the end of the present oil subsidy scheme for glasshouses and on action he intends to take designed to maintain the position of horticulturalists in a period of rising oil prices
§ Mr. Peart
The glasshouse fuel oil subsidy was made available on a temporary and degressive basis to cushion growers against the sharp and unexpected increase in their costs which took place when it was too late for them to make major changes in their production plans for the 1974 season. The subsidy is not intended to do more than provide growers with a breathing space during which they can554W decide how best to adjust to the higher level of oil prices which, in common with other users of fuel oil, they will have to face in the future. A long-term subsidy would create an artificial situation and militate against economies in the use of energy.