§ Mr. Pardoe
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the cost to public funds of the beef premium since its introduction; and how much of this has provided higher returns for producers and how much has produced lower prices for customers.230W
§ Mr. Bishop
From the introduction of the Beef Premium Scheme on 5th August 1974 to the end of September the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce has paid out about £2,765,000. This excludes any administrative costs. As to the second part of the Question, payments under the scheme are made direct to producers. They therefore represent an additional return to the price received on the market. It must be conjectural whether payment of the premiums has an influence on market prices.