§ Mr. Phillip Oppenheim
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his latest estimate of the savings to the United Kingdom of the imposition of dairy quotas; and what are the offsetting administrative costs arising from the operation of dairy quotas together with its subsidiary schemes such as the outgoers scheme.
§ Mr. MacGregor
Any estimate of the savings resulting from the imposition of milk quotas is necessarily of a hypothetical nature given that the Community could not have afforded to support a continuing growth of milk production for which there was no market. At the time of the negotiation of the milk quotas, the Commission estimated that the eventual cost to the Community budget of disposing of each tonne of surplus milk was £170 and forecast that in 1985 Community milk deliveries would reach 108 million tonnes if no action were taken to stem the steady increase in production. If deliveries this year are within the 1985–86 wholesale quota of 98–6 million tonnes and it is assumed they would otherwise have been at the level previously forecast by the Commission, expenditure of about £1,600 million will be avoided on the basis of the Commission's estimated disposal cost. Of this, the United Kingdom contribution would be about £350 million before the operation of the Fontainebleau mechanism.
The cost to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of administering milk quotas in 1984–85 is estimated at £3.5 million. In addition, a sum of £50 million is being made available to finance the costs of the United Kingdom outgoers scheme; this is being paid to producers in five annual instalments.