§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current annual cost of storing and financing European Economic Community 226W intervention stocks in the United Kingdom; how much of this cost is borne directly by the United Kingdom taxpayer; and what percentage change will take place in these costs over the next three years.
§ Mr. Gummer
Intervention storage costs in 1986–87 are expected to be about £134 million, towards which the Community will contribute about £60 million. The final cost of financing stocks will not be available until the intervention buying accounts for the calendar year 1986 are completed but the Community's contribution, at standard rates, for 1986–87 is expected to be about £75 million.
It is not possible to predict the percentage change which will take place in these figures over the next three years because expenditure will depend on market conditions including levels of production, trade and world prices for individual commodities. Costs of maintaining intervention stocks have been on a rising trend in recent years as stocks of most commodities have built up. But the major reforms of the beef and milk regimes agreed at the December Council and decisions still to be taken on cereals should lead to reductions in surpluses and to lower intervention costs.