HC Deb 30 November 1979 vol 974 cc847-8W
Mr. Spence

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much per pint of milk provided to schoolchildren a local authority has to pay in order to qualify for EEC subsidy; how much the subsidy is; what is the total cost of the pint; from what source the balance, if any, is made up; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Macfarlane

I have been asked to reply.

The EEC subsidy is currently 7.32p per pint and, in order to qualify for the subsidy, a local education authority must itself contribute at least the equivalent of one-quarter of the subsidy—that is, a minimum of 1.8p per pint. Where milk purchased at the current price of about 14.5p per pint is provided for pupils free of charge, the authority pays just over 7p per pint net of the EEC subsidy. At the present level of school meal subsidy, milk and milk products such as cheese and yoghurt provided as part of the meal also qualify for the EEC subsidy. When the present statutory arrangements for school milk and meals are relaxed, it will be for individual authorities to decide what to charge for anything they provide and, if they wish to continue to claim the EEC subsidy, they will have to satisfy the minimum contribution requirement.