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Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has as to the average retail price of (i) Welsh, (ii) English, (iii) Danish and (iv) New Zealand butter.

information collected for the purposes of the retail prices index indicates that, in October 1987, the average prices of butter were as follows:

pence per gramme
Home produced52p per 250g
Danish56p per 250g
New Zealand50p per 250g
No separate information is collected on prices for Welsh or English butter.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his reply of 30 November, what has been the cost to the United Kingdom Treasury to date of the cost of disposing of the 97,190 tons of butter released between 1 December 1986 and 31 October 1987; and if this full amount will fall to be repaid by the Community after 1989 under the arrangements agreed in March 1987.

[holding answer 7 December 1987]: Disposal of this butter has saved money for the Exchequer from reduced storage charges. Without the special scheme the butter would have remained in store and, as I explained in my previous reply, no reimbursements for loss on sale would have been received from the Community. Under the scheme these reimbursements will be paid, but delayed to the four years from 1989. Therefore, the Exchequer is no worse off in this respect. 97,190 tonnes occupy a considerable volume of cold storage, which would have cost about £7.5 million per year to provide.