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Ewe Premium

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will announce the final rate of ewe premium for the 1989 scheme.

I am pleased to say that the European Commission has now set the final rate of ewe premium for the 1989 scheme. The rates per eligible ewe are £6·94 in Great Britain and £12·78 in Northern Ireland, and £5·55 for those animals (Herdwicks and specified breeds of untupped gimmers in parts of Scotland) for which there are special arrangements and which would not otherwise qualify for premium. Producers in less-favoured areas who have already received an advance payment will now be paid the balance, while producers in other areas will receive the full final rate. Payments will be made as soon as possible. The 1989 premium will be worth in total around £140 million to United Kingdom sheep producers, which represents a very significant input to the sheep industry.