To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in implementing the European Commission's proposals for budgetary stabilisers in further commodity regimes.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the Council of Ministers will next consider the implementation of budgetary stabilisers recommended by the European Commission.
I refer my hon. Friends to the reply I gave today to the hon. Member for Gateshead, East (Ms. Quin).
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on implications for less-favoured areas of the stabiliser agreements now being sought within the European Economic Community.
The Commission's proposals on agricultural stabilisers do not differentiate between less-favoured areas and other parts of the European Community. The strengthening of budgetary discipline in the CAP is in the interests of farmers generally.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated saving to the European Economic Community budget in 1988–89 of the agriculture stabilisers package.
The intention of stabilisers is to strengthen budgetary discipline in the agricultural sector. In general, the proposals involve price cuts or other adjustments to the support arrangements linked to increased levels of production or intervention. Negotiations on the details of the stabiliser arrangements, for example the production levels at which action would be triggered, are still continuing and therefore it is not possible to say at this stage what the effects of the stabilisers will be. The Government's aim in the negotiations is to agree measures which will genuinely restrain expenditure and produce substantial savings in spending.