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Grazing Livestock

Volume 81: debated on Wednesday 19 June 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what he anticipates will be the effect of the agriculture price review on the grazing livestock sector.

As my right hon. Friend made clear to the House on 20 May, the price-fixing settlement included various decisions which will benefit the grazing livestock sector, most of which was due to United Kingdom pressure. Amongst these were an increase in the level of support for milk, improvements to the operation of the quota system and a reduction in the co-responsibility levy. For beef, the variable premium scheme has been retained and the suckler cow premium will be continued at last year's level. Producers will also benefit from a small increase in intervention prices as a result of the second stage of harmonisation based on the carcase classification grid. In the sheep sector, certain damaging proposals on the variable premium were withdrawn, and the settlement included an increase in support in 1986, improvements in the seasonal scale, and a promise of proposals to extend annual ewe premium from 1986 to untupped shearlings of specified breeds in certain mountain areas.