§ Mr. Patchett
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the findings of the National Audit Office report on subsidised Common Market milk and milk products; and if he will end the imbalance whereby pupils in independent schools are receiving an average of three times as much subsidised milk as state schools.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
The Department's accounting officer was examined by the Public Accounts Committee on 7 December 1988 on the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on implementation of the common agricultural policy in Great Britain, and the Ministry now awaits the views of that Committee.
The school milk subsidy scheme makes no distinction between different types of school; it is for each independent school or local education authority to decide whether or not to take advantage of the scheme. Nevertheless, steps have already been taken to identify those local education authority areas where uptake under the scheme is low in order that greater use of the subsidy may be encouraged.