To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will compensate British horticulture businesses for subsidies granted by Spain for greenhouse fuels; and what measures she is taking to prevent unfair competition caused by subsidy of greenhouse fuels in competition with the UK horticultural industry.
I am not aware of subsidies granted by Spain specifically for fuels used in horticultural production. In the UK, heating oil used in glasshouses is exempt from duty.
The rate of Climate Change Levy applied to energy used in horticulture in the UK has been abated by 50 per cent. for five years and we have allocated up to £5 million over three years to provide energy efficiency advice to growers to help them adjust to the full rate of levy. These measures (which require Commission approval under the state aids rules) recognise the importance of energy costs to competitive production in this sector.