Dáil Éireann - Volume 352 - 10 October, 1984

Written Answers. - Milk Super-levy.

684. Mr. MacSharry asked the Minister for Agriculture the representations that are planned by him to bring home to our EEC partners the unfair discriminatory nature of the milk super-levy to Irish farmers, a state of affairs which makes a mockery of the principle of equality enshrined in the Treaties; and if he intends to point out (1) that milk and beef output is seven and a half times more important to the Irish economy than to the economies of the other member states, (2) that Ireland's share of total EEC milk production is 4.8 per cent compared with 24.2 per cent in France, 23.0 per cent in Germany, 15.8 per cent in the [2087] U.K. and (3) that Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom produced 50.3 per cent of total EEC milk production in 1981.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Deasy): The significant concessions granted to Ireland under the super-levy arrangements reflect how successful were the representations made by the Government to our EEC partners to recognise the special position of the milk industry in Ireland. Whereas the dairy industry in the Community generally has to face severe cutbacks in production — in some cases of up to 8 per cent compared to 1983 — Ireland has been given the right to expand this year at close to our normal rate of increase. We have also been accorded priority in any increase quantities to be made available in future years. In the future negotiations we will continue to emphasise the special difficulties of milk production in this country in order to obtain the best possible deal for our producers.