§ Mr. Favell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his latest estimate of the additional cost to the average family of four of the CAP.
§ Mr. Curry
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) on 5 December 1990 at column141.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has now updated to 1990 its estimates of transfers from consumers and taxpayers resulting from agricultural policies in the European Community as a whole. On the basis used for the previous answer, these transfers were equivalent to £17.50 per week per family of four in that year. The increase from the figure off£14 for 1989 given in the previous answer is largely due to reductions in world prices. As I have emphasised on a number of occasions, and as the OECD has made clear, the estimate takes no account of the effect that removal of farm support would have on world prices, and other variables, and thus gives no indication of the extent to which taxpayers and consumers might be better off if current policies were removed. A family of four would benefit by considerably less than £17.55 per week if all agricultural support were removed.