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Agricultural Aid

Volume 21: debated on Thursday 1 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how he proposes to allocate the £16 million special aid which he announced last January would be made available to the Northern Ireland agricultural industry in 1982–83.

Following discussions with the Ulster Farmers Union and consultations with the EC Commission I have decided to allocate £13·6 million of the total as follows:

Total £ million
1. Continuation of additional suckler cow subsidy of £12·37 per cow—subject to agreement of the EC Council of Ministers.2·3
2. Continuation of beef development programme, including grant-aid for artificial insemination, liming of grassland, beef recording and performance testing and first time silage making.2·0
3. Continuation of the milk consumer subsidy. This will enable the Milk Marketing Board to charge more for milk going for liquid consumption without Northern Ireland consumers having to pay more than consumers in Great Britain.7·3
Total £ million
4. Continuation of payments to operators of licensed pig and poultrymeat processing plants and egg packing stations related to their National Insurance contributions in respect of their employees.2·0
Proposals for the allocation of the balance of the £16 million—including a grassland improvement scheme and a grant of £0·1 million to a new body representing seed potato growers and merchants—are in process of clearance with the EC Commission and details will be announced later.