7 March 1997

Big threat to jobs

LACK of action to protect falling doorstep milk delivery sales is putting 30,000 jobs at risk, alleges Labours shadow farm spokesman Gavin Strang.

Dr Strang blamed the Cons-ervative government for neglecting doorstep delivery sales during the deregulation of the industry, taxing electric milk floats and threatening the sector with an introduction of VAT on milk.

Liquid milk sales are declining by an average of 0.5% a year. But doorstep sales are falling by 5% a year. Just 39% of the population received doorstep deliveries last year compared with 86% in 1982.

Submitting a petition to MPs, Dr Strang admitted that a Labour government would be unable to provide immediate domestic funding. But he said CAP reform in the dairy sector should lead to additional funding for doorstep promotion. &#42