HC Deb 07 July 1999 vol 334 c573W
28. Mr. Paterson

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the prospects for the Welsh livestock industry. [88550]

Mr. Jon Owen Jones

As Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State I had responsibility for this matter until 1 July. We took a number of initiatives, either unilaterally or jointly with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to address the difficulties faced by the livestock sector. We provide:

  • Over £12 million aid for Welsh cattle and sheep farmers in December 1997.
  • Almost 15 million extra for HLCA claimants in Wales in November 1998.
  • Publication in March 1999 of industry-led Action Plans for the Lamb and Beef, Dairy and Organic sectors.
  • Complete deferral for this year of the Specified Risk Material inspection costs-a saving of £2.5 million for Welsh farmers.

Since last Thursday these responsibilities have passed to the National Assembly for Wales. The First Secretary and his Cabinet colleagues will be happy to brief Members of the House of Commons on the Assembly's work.

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