§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has received about the effects of changes to the welfare milk scheme; how many people in Bradford are now receiving weekly milk tokens; what groups of people are entitled to milk tokens; what estimates he has made of the number of people in Bradford who will no longer receive doorstep delivery of welfare milk; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what representations he has received about the impact upon those engaged in milk distribution from the discounting of welfare milk tokens; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
A period of eight months' consultation and discussion with interested parties preceded the announcement of the price to be paid by the Government for liquid welfare milk. There are no changes in the welfare milk scheme as far as recipients are concerned. Since the announcement my noble Friend Baroness Hooper met representatives of the dairy trade on 10 January to discuss implementation. Specific points about the revised pricing structure were further discussed between officials and the trade on 16 January. Early-day motions have been tabled, seeking reconsideration of our decision, and the regulation bringing the change into effect has been prayed against. In addition, a number of hon. Members have written expressing the concerns of their constituents.
Information about the number of welfare milk beneficiaries by area is not available, but we do not anticipate any changes since the scheme itself remains unchanged. Milk tokens will continue to be issued in respect of pregnant women and children under five in families receiving income support and to handicapped children aged five to 16 who, because of their handicap, are registered at a school. The revised pricing structure does not affect beneficiaries entitlement to welfare milk nor the way in which they choose to obtain it.