§ 24. Mr. Nellist
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his latest estimate of Britain's net contribution to the common agricultural policy; and if he will estimate the contribution for 1987–88.
§ Mr. Gummer
The United Kingdom contributes to the EC budget as a whole, rather than to individual items of expenditure, at approximately 20 per cent. abated by the Fontainebleau mechanism.
The 1987 draft budget provides for expenditure of 24,152 mecu (£15,500 million) under the common agricultural policy. The forecast of United Kingdom receipts from the CAP in 1987–88 is £1,399 million.
§ 45. Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he intends providing any means of financial support for beef and dairy farmers as a consequence of quota and price cuts proposed for the common agricultural policy.
§ Mr. Gummer
The reforms of the beef and dairy regimes agreed at the December Agriculture council, which I announced to the House on 17 December, were urgently needed to take account of the realities of the market for these products, and so assist the development of a better balance of supply and demand.
In the beef sector, the variable premium has been maintained; there is scope to increase the suckler cow premium and the sector has also benefitted from the 6 per cent. devaluation of the green pound also agreed in December. Further, the commission has built 435 mecu into their calculation of expenditure on beef over the next two years to allow for extra support for this sector following the decisions on milk.
In the dairy sector the necessary cuts in production have been accompanied by increased compensation for the Community outgoers scheme; generous rates of compensation were also agreed for the temporary suspension of quota.