§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his policy towards the future of the common agricultural policy in the light of the recent estimate by the EEC-funded European Union of Consumers that the net cost of the policy per average family is £13 per week; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
[pursuant to his reply, 12 December 1986, c. 246]: The Government's policy is to endeavour to bring the supply of, and demand for, CAP products into better balance through price restraint and all other appropriate means. Such a policy is in the interests of consumers, taxpayers and the long-term health of the agricultural community. The policies we have pursued since 1979 have resulted in food prices increasing at a lower rate than the retail price index as a whole, which in turn has been below the rate of increase in average earnings. At the same time we have supported the farming community in providing 80 per cent. of our people's temperate food, and caring for 80 per cent. of the land area of the United Kingdom.