§ Mrs. Browning
[holding answer 16 April 1996]: The Government sympathise with the cattle and head deboners whose traditional business has disappeared as a result of measures introduced on 29 March. However, as Ministers have made clear on a number of occasions, the purpose 379W of the financial assistance which has been made available to the slaughtering sector is to provide market support to keep the essential links in the beef supply chain operating while companies adjust to the changed market circumstances. It is not our policy to use public funds to compensate businesses for losses incurred. Against this background, we have concluded that no financial assistance can be offered to plants licensed to process beef heads, except the support available to all licensed slaughterhouses and licensed cutting premises in respect of unsold beef stocks.