§ Mr. Harry Ewing
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether she will now make a statement on the payment of subsidy on milk produced outside the areas of the milk marketing boards.
§ Mr. Maclennan
In consultation with her right hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Scotland my right hon. Friend has prepared schemes under the powers contained in Section 1(5) of the Prices Act 1974 for the payment of a subsidy on milk produced in the Isles of Scilly and certain Scottish islands not covered by existing arrangements. The subsidy will be paid from 1st August and will be at a rate of 2p per pint, the approximate equivalent of the subsidy on the mainland.
The schemes will be administered by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland respectively. Copies of the schemes will be placed in the Library.
It is estimated that the cost in 1974–75 of the scheme for the Isles of Scilly will be about £5,500 and for the Scottish islands about £39,000. Estimates will be presented to the House in due course, and in the meantime it will be necessary to have recourse to the Contingencies Fund.
Although Skye and Lewis and Harris fall within the area of the North of Scotland Milk Marketing Board no producers in these islands are registered with the board. The islands will, therefore, be included among those to benefit from the new arrangements announced today. However, since a scheme under the Prices Act may not be used as a basis for making payments in respect of milk produced within the area of a milk marketing board, payment of subsidy in Skye and Lewis and Harris will be made under the authority of the Appropriation Act. Specific legislative authority will be sought as soon as possible. The estimated cost in the period to 31st March 1975 is £16,000.