§ Lord Molloy
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they intend to press for a further review within the European Union of the set-aside scheme; and whether they consider that the scheme is operating in the best financial interests of the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe)
The cost of disposing of surplus Community grain falls on EC taxpayers and it is in their financial interests to achieve a better balance between production and consumption. We believe the best way to do this is to reduce market prices but set-aside can also play a role. The Government have made clear that further CAP reform is needed to bring support prices much closer to world levels, which would enable supply controls such as set-aside to be removed.