HC Deb 22 June 1992 vol 210 cc77-8W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if any plans have been made to help Cheshire farmers adjust to the cuts in support under the CAP reforms.

Mr. Curry

While the overall level of support to procedures has been reduced, in most sectors cuts in price have been accompanied by the introduction of, or increases in, direct payments to farmers. These will help farmers throughout the United Kingdom to adjust to the new arrangements.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list the projections on which the expected reduction in the cost of the common agricultural policy is based including indications of timing and the amount of increase and decrease in food purchases and European Community budget, respectively;

(2) if he will publish a table showing for each of the next five years the range of estimated expenditure on the common agricultural policy, showing that part which is estimated to arise from the recently announced measures and which constitute additional expenditure, together with any estimated reductions for those and succeeding years up to the estimated reduction of £8,000 million per year.

Mr. Curry

Commissions estimates of expenditure under the common agricultural policy for the next five years are as follows:

Year £ billion
1993 23.6
1994 25.3
1995 26.5
1996 27.5
1997 27.1

These figures take account of the effect on the EC budget of the measures agreed in the reform package including the accompanying measures. They assume that in other respects patterns of production and trade remain unaltered.

It is not possible to give estimates of expenditure on individual commodities, as a number of details remain to be decided. However, it is expected that there will be additional expenditure on direct aids for arable producers, higher beef premia and the accompanying measures, and savings on intervention and/or export refunds for cereals, beef, butter, pigment and poultry products. There will also be savings in the tobacco sector.

The additional cost to the EC budget of the reform measures will be offset by savings to consumers. The figure of £8,000m to which the hon. Member refers is a broad estimate of the extent to which consumers' expenditure on food will be lower than otherwise when the effects of the agreement have fully worked through, assuming patterns of consumption remain unchanged. It reflects the support price reductions agreed for beef, butter and cereals and a number of assumptions about the impact on market prices: some of the effects are expected to be evident in 1993 and the rest should have worked through by 1997.

Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a table showing the expenditure by the EC on agriculture in each of the most recent annual periods for which figures are available; and what estimates have been made for expenditure in 1992 and 1993.

Mr. Curry

The information requested is in the table. There are as yet no published figures available for 1993.

EC expenditure on Agriculture (£ million)
1988 19,563
1989 17,855
1990 20,147
1991 24,105
1992 26,463

Sources: 1988–90: budget outturn; 1991: provisional outturn; 1992: budget.

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