HC Deb 12 March 1981 vol 1000 cc415-6W
Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of gross domestic product the European Community spends on its agricultural policy; and how this compares with the proportion spent in Japan, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The Commission recently published figures showing that FEOGA expenditure as a proportion of Community gross domestic product was 0.47 per cent. in 1980 while total spending in the Community, including national spending, on agriculture support was around 1 to 1.5 per cent. They suggested that the figure for the United States was comparable, while in Japan expenditure on agriculture was almost 5 per cent. of gross domestic product.

I see no reason to disagree with the Commission figures, except for Japan, where, according to the information available to us, central Government expenditure on agriculture was only around 1.5 per cent. of gross domestic product in the last three years. Published figures for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics show that spending on agriculture in 1978 was just over 5 per cent. of gross domestic product.

There are of course considerable difficulties in comparing agricultural support expenditure for different countries.