HC Deb 27 July 1979 vol 971 cc702-3W
Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, assuming no change in current levels of consumption of dairy products, what would be the effect on the EEC budget and the size of Great Britain's contribution to the budget, of a drop of 25 per cent., 50 per cent. and 75 per cent. in liquid milk consumption in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Walker

It is estimated that the EEC budget for 1979 would be increased by about 249 MEUA (£167 million), 498 MEUA (£334 million) and 726 MEUA (£494 million) if the United Kingdom consumption of liquid milk were reduced by 25, 50 and 75 per cent. The estimated change in the United Kingdom contribution would be £29 million, £58 million and £85 million. These estimates are based on the assumption that a reduction in liquid milk consumption in the United Kingdom would lead to an increase in the domestic production of butter and skimmed milk powder. In the case of butter, it is presumed that the imports of those commodities from EEC countries would be displaced and similar quantities would be exported to third countries with the aid of export refunds. Increased skimmed milk powder supplies in the United Kingdom would also have to be exported. Liquid milk sales are holding up well—the figures given above are therefore totally hypothetical.

Conversion rate 1.49 MEUA=£1.