§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the annual subsidy being paid from the common agricultural policy funds to tobacco growers in the European Union: and what steps are being taken to discourage the growing of tobacco by European Union members.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue)
Annual expenditure on the common agricultural policy tobacco regime is currently approximately 1 billion ecus (around £680 million*). The UK has indicated its regret on many occasions that no steps are being taken by the European Union to discourage the growing of tobacco by its members. As 1 made clear to the House on 9 June, we will press for the greatest possible degree of reform when the Commission issues its proposals for changes to the regime, now expected in the new year. However the majority of member states grow tobacco and are firmly opposed to measures to discourage production.
*Using a conversion rate of £1 = 1.4653 ecus.