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Agricultural Subsidies

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the cost per head of the subsidies given to British farmers as against the prices which would prevail in a free market in world agricultural produce.

The estimate requested would be possible only by making a large number of assumptions about the extent of support policy adjustment worldwide, the impact of this on production, consumption and exchange rates and the extent to which these factors would influence world prices. No such estimates are available for the United Kingdom. The Government fully support the agreed long-term objectives of the GATT Uruguay round negotiation, namely substantial, progressive reductions in agricultural support and protection: this would reduce the cost of agricultural support borne by consumers and taxpayers.