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Deficiency Payments

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the cost, at current prices, of the total deficiency payments which have had to have been paid, on the previous method of calculation, since British entry into the EEC ended the former system.

I regret that a satisfactory estimate of the cost of deficiency payments in the United Kingdom since 1973 could not be made, since it would depend on the assumptions which were made about the levels of guarantee which would have been set; the precise features of the guarantee, import and export arrangements which would have applied; the levels of market price which would have prevailed in trading conditions different from those which existed in practice; and whether or not such a scheme would have been financed on an EEC or national basis.