§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food what action he is taking to deal with problems created by the shortage of funds under the guarantee section of FEOGA following the delay in the approval of supplementary budget No. 3 for 1979.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
To cover the period until sufficient finance is received from FEOGA, interest-free loans will be made by the Exchequer. The loans will be offered in cases where payment of claims by the intervention board for agricultural produce is held up by the shortage of FEOGA funds. When FEOGA finance becomes available we shall, with the prior consent of the claimants, set off that money against the loans.
The amount needed to cover the period until mid-December is estimated to be about £15 million. Parliamentary approval for this service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate. Pending that approval a repayable advance will be made from the Contingencies Fund.