HC Deb 22 February 1999 vol 326 cc189-90W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much the tobacco subsidy to EU growers cost in the last year for which figures are available; and when he expects the subsidy to be discussed next in the Council of Ministers. [70405]

Mr. Rooker

In 1998, the EU spent 868 million ecu (£583 million1) on subsidies under the EU tobacco regime.

In November last year the Commission issued a proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation 2075/92 and fixing the premiums and guarantee thresholds for leaf tobacco by variety group and Member State for the 1999, 2000, and 2001 harvests. This is likely to be discussed at the Agriculture Council soon, but no date has been specified. 1Using an exchange rate of £1 = 1.4887 ecu.