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Agricultural Market Price Support

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of agricultural market price support on UK income distribution. [108816]

Agricultural market support measures under the CAP are estimated to have increased the cost of food for a notional family of four by about £5 to £6 per week. As food represents a higher proportion of the total expenditure for low income households, the impact will be more severe for these households. There are no estimates of the impact of market price support on the income distribution of UK farmers. However, the OECD's provisional estimates for 2001 show that market price support in the EU accounted for nearly 60 per cent. of total support to agriculture and represented 24 per cent. of the value of production at the farm gate. OECD estimates for individual commodities show that market price support represented 3 per cent. of the value of production of cereals, 37 per cent. for milk, 44 per cent. for sugar and 84 per cent. for beef and veal.