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European Community (Food Levies)

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current cost to the United Kingdom of EEC food levies paid into Community funds; and what is the net effect of such payments on the United Kingdom balance of trade.

The total of agricultural levies paid into EEC funds in 1979 has been £248 million.The system of import levies has an indirect effect on the balance of trade through raising agricultural market prices within the Community to a level above the corresponding world prices. This increases the cost of our agricultural imports from other member States and the receipts on our exports to them. In 1978 the net disadvantage can be assessed, on certain assumptions, at a little over £100 million. This figure is calculated after allowing for monetary compensatory amounts of some £480 million paid from the Community budget on the imports but without deducting MCAs of some £110 million collected on the exports and effectively handed over to the Community budget. Full details of the assumptions behind the calculation are set out in the reply given to the hon. Member for Newham. North-East (Mr. Leighton) on 19 November 1979.—[Vol. 974, c.

82–84.]

different types and sizes of pipes suitable for field drainage and the piping of ditches.