HC Deb 08 April 1919 vol 114 cc1847-8

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the correct cost of subsidies in support of wages or in the reduction of food prices involved in the Bread Subsidy, payments under the railway agreement, and the out- of-work pension payments; and to what extent will the purchasing capacity of wages be diminished after these subsidies are withdrawn?


The cost of the Bread Subsidy is at present at the rate of £50,000,000 a year. Provision is made in the Estimates 1919–20 for £60,000,000 for payments under the Railway Agreement. The cost of the out-of-work donation is now about £1,250,000 per week.

The Bread Subsidy amounts to about 6d. per week per head of population, and the effect of its withdrawal on the purchasing capacity of wages must depend on the future course of wheat prices. I am not clear on what grounds the purchasing capacity of wages can be held to be affected by the other subsidies.