HC Deb 07 November 1974 vol 880 cc192-3W
Mr. Bagier

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the decision to increase milk producers' returns by 8p per gallon in the six months from October 1974 will be implemented.

Mr. Bishop

Following the decisions reached by the EEC Council of Agriculture Ministers the effective United Kingdom guaranteed price has been increased by 3.52p per gallon from 26.27p per gallon to 29.79p per gallon from 7th October 1974. We are also arranging to make a special additional payment to the Milk Marketing Boards so that the increase in the guaranteed price and this additional payment, taken together, will have the effect of increasing the returns to the boards by 7.7p per gallon on actual sales of all milk from October 1974 to March 1975. This special payment, which is estimated to cost £48 million in the current financial year, will rest on the authority of the Appropriation Act and a Supplementary Estimate will be presented to Parliament in due course. In the meantime, we shall have recourse to the Contingencies Fund. The remaining 0.3p per gallon of the 8p per gallon represents the estimated value to milk producers of the saving on feed costs resulting from the application of the monetary compensatory amounts as a subsidy on cereal imports into the United Kingdom.