§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What changes have been made in the European Union tobacco regime and what reduction in subsidies has been made to European growers; and how much British taxpayers contribute to subsidising the growing of tobacco in the European Union.
The tobacco regime was last reformed in 1992. In particular, export refunds and intervention were both abolished with the aim of reducing the scope for fraud and saving expenditure. The volume of tobacco eligible for subsidy was cut by 19 per cent. and the budget expenditure fell by 20 per cent. between 1992 and 1995.
*The UK contributes to the EU budget as a whole. In 1997 our contribution will be about 15 per cent. of the total budget of 82.4 becu (£61.7 billion*) before our Fontainebleau abatement is taken into account. Tobacco accounts for 1.2 per cent. of the total EU budget.
The Commission are currently drafting legislation for further reform of the tobacco regime.*using an exchange rate of 1 ecu = £0.74934.