HC Deb 15 March 1994 vol 239 cc607-8W
Mr. Tyler

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will now announce the constitution, including producer representation, of the proposed Milk Marketing Board residuary body, its budgetary provisions and proposed lifetime.

Mr. Jack

The constitution of the residuary Milk Marketing Board will depend upon the functions to be assigned to it, which must be specified in an approved reorganisation scheme. No decision can be taken on the constitution, therefore, until a reorganisation scheme has been approved. We have, nevertheless, announced our intention that producers should be strongly represented on the residuary board.

The assets and liabilities to be retained by the board after vesting day would likewise be specified in the approved reorganisation scheme. The funding provision for the residuary board would therefore be determined if and when the scheme was approved.

The lifetime of the residuary board would depend to some extent upon how quickly it could realise its assets and discharge its liabilities. Some potential liabilities could crystallise well after vesting day, however, and the residuary board is likely to have a lifetime of several years at least.

Mrs. Peacock

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will consider the appointment of a market regulator for a period of two years to allow the orderly development of a free market for milk.

Mr. Jack

After the end of the milk marketing scheme the milk market will be subject to the normal rules on competition. The Agriculture Act 1993 does not provide for the appointment of a special regulator for the milk market.