To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the United Kingdom's share of the additional €300 million for European Union dairy farmers agreed by the Council of Ministers on 3 December 2009 will be €29.26 million; and, if so, what objective criteria they will communicate to the Commission in order to obtain that sum for United Kingdom dairy farmers. [HL1628]
I can confirm that the UK's share will be €29.26 million of the €300 million Dairy Fund, agreed in December, in the form of national envelopes determined by milk production levels. This fund will be allocated to individual farmers severely affected by low dairy prices and, as a result, encountering liquidity problems. Following discussions with the farming industry, we are currently consulting stakeholders on options as to how best to allocate this money. The option chosen will be done on the basis of providing help to farmers, in a non-discriminatory way, while keeping administrative costs to a minimum and supporting a competitive dairy sector.
Defra's consultation relates to England. However, it is part of a UK-wide consultation process within which the devolved Administrations are conducting parallel consultations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, seeking views on the same two options.