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Dairy Farmers

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received about the non-retrospective nature of the reference date for calculating compensatory direct payment to dairy farmers; and if she will make a statement. [120264]

Several organisations, including the NFU, have made representations on this issue. We have raised it in discussions on the proposal in Brussels, arguing that it has encouraged speculation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce measures to ensure that dairy sector producers receive direct payments based on the whole of the amount of milk quota held on 31 March 2004 under the single farm payment scheme. [120267]

The proposal is already that the payment would be based on the net quota holding on 31 March 2004.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the reference amount under the single farm payment scheme for dairy farmers, will be applied if the dairy farmer had no registered hectares during the reference period. [120268]

Under the Commission proposals, if the dairy farmer had no eligible land to which a payment could be attached, it would become a "special payment" and subject to certain conditions.