§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the actual or estimated costs on an annual basis of the 800 to 900 poultry meat inspectors who will be needed in August 1979 to carry out the implementa- 318W tion of the Poultry (Meat) Hygiene Regulations under EEC Directives 71/118 and 75/431; what will be the back-up costs for offices, staffs and training, &c.; and whether, in view of the Government's call for cuts in public expenditure, he will take steps to postpone implementation of these directives.
§ Mr. Strang
As to estimated annual inspection costs, which we propose should be borne by the trade, I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) on 22nd March and to my hon. Friends the Members for West Bromwich, West (Miss Boothroyd) and Chorley (Mr. Rodgers) on 25th March and 25th May respectively.—[Vol. 908, c.79, 227–8; Vol. 912, c. 151–2.] The estimate given on 22nd March included allowance for local authority overheads but not training costs, which we estimate will total around £1.5 million over the three-year period to August 1979. This date already represents a substantial deferment from the date accepted during the EEC entry negotiations.