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Farmers (Ec Proposals)

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will provide figures on the estimated financial and production implications of the Commission of the European Communities' proposals for farmers in the United Kingdom contained in documents numbers 8250/87, 8761/87 and ADDI to ADD4, 9066/87 and 6116/1/87.

The Commission has not estimated the financial or production implications of implementing its stabiliser proposals (documents 8250/87, 8761/87 and ADD 1 to ADD 4). These would depend on a number of factors, notably the extent to which future production triggered the stabilisers. The Commission has estimated the savings which might result from the proposals in document 9066/87, in relation to mandarins only, at 10 million ecu (£7 million) per annum. There are no implications from this measure for farmers in the United Kingdom. The Commission states that the proposals on income aids in document 6116/1/87 should have no overall effect on levels of production.The Commission estimates that expenditure under the part EC-funded income aid scheme could be roughly 1,800 million ecu (£1,259 million) over nine years; and that expenditure on the cessation scheme (pre-pensions for farmers over 55 years of age) could be 465 million ecu (£325 million) over five years, though the Commission envisages that this expenditure would be more than offset by savings in budgetary expenditure, consequent on reduction in area farmed, of 760 million ecu (£531 million) over the five-year period. The schemes in document 6116/1/87 are all optional and the financial and production implications for farmers in any member state would depend on the extent of national take-up.