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Small And Medium Abattoirs: Assistance

Volume 620: debated on Wednesday 20 December 2000

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the source of the £8.7 million, mentioned in the Rural White Paper (page 92), intended to assist small and medium abattoirs; upon what basis this sum was determined; and how it is intended to be distributed. [HL156]

The £8.7 million (which will be the subject of a PES transfer to the Food Standards Agency) was found from MAFF's funds plus contributions from the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales. It will be used, subject to consultation with the relevant interests, to change the basis on which meat inspection charges are levied as recommended by the task force chaired by Colin Maclean. The FSA will propose that abattoirs and cutting plants should pay the lower of:

  • the standard headage/throughput charges set out in the EU Charges Directive (85/73/EEC, as amended); or
  • actual inspection costs charged at MHS hourly rates—subject to a minimum charge of 45 per cent of the standard headage/throughput charges mentioned above.
The FSA has agreed that the sum of £8.7 million, supplemented by a contribution from its own budgets, will be sufficient to enable the agency to cover the shortfall in its receipts which will result from the introduction of the change.