26 April 1996

Intervention Board top-up demand for direct milk sellers

By Philip Clarke

DIRECT milk sellers will soon be receiving invoices from the Intervention Board demanding a top-up to their super-levy bills from the 1994/95 milk year.

After verification reports on 251 annual declarations, irregularities were found on 30% of them, says the board.

As a result, the super-levy has been recalculated and increased from 16.26p/litre to 18.20p/litre. But with fewer people actually paying the levy, the total UK bill is revised downwwards to £4.6m.

About 320 direct sellers are affected and will be contacted in the next month. Those producers due credit notes have already received them, according to quota specialist Ruth Tompkins.

Dairies and milk purchaser groups are also affected, after adjustments to the volume of quota registered on vesting day (Nov 1, 1994).

"Although the total UK liability to levy has reduced as a result of the corrections incorporated (from £43.4m to £42.1m), quota adjustments will have resulted in increased liability for some wholesale suppliers," says the board.

About 70 out of 120 buyers face the amendments, with about half having their super-levy bills revised up and half revised down.

Most purchasers owing more money have already collected the outstanding amount from producers or have paid it from cash reserves put aside in anticipation of the levy adjsutments.

&#8226 Milk producers have until Apr 29 to make any temporary conversions between direct sale and whole-sale quota, using form MQ/7. Direct sellers annual declarations (MQ/15) and buyers annual returns (MQ/13) have to be in by May 14. &#42