HC Deb 23 February 1984 vol 54 cc595-6W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total amount spent on hill farming subsidies in the latest European Economic Community accounting period, the number of sheep and cattle reared on the hill farms to which the subsidies relate, the number of farms and the distribution of grant by farmers according to the number of animals reared on such farms.

Mr. MacGregor

The only hill farming subsidies on which information is available in the form requested are the hill livestock compensatory allowances paid under Council directive 75/268. In 1983, the total amount spent on these allowances in the United Kingdom was £90.6 million. This related to an estimated 881,000 cows and 9.1 million sheep. Just over 51,000 holdings received the payments. The distribution by holdings according to the number of livestock units—a livestock unit under the directive is one cow or 6⅔ sheep—was as follows:

per cent.
1–50 livestock units 72.3
51.100 livestock units 14.6
Over 100 livestock units 13.1

Mr. MacGregor

The information requested for the main products covered by the common agricultural policy is contained in the following table. It should be noted that for most commodities there is no single "world" price and the lowest offer prices shown in the table are generally those which underlie the Commission's calculation of variable import levies on 3 February 1984: it is likely that if the United Kingdom were to purchase more supplies on world markets we would have to pay higher prices.

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