HC Deb 11 June 1951 vol 488 cc1657-8
42. Mr. Wakefield

asked the Minister of Food whether, for the present flat rate bread subsidy, he will consider substituting a graduated subsidy based on output, that is, the higher the output, the less the subsidy.

Mr. F. Willey

We have already considered this proposal, and have decided that the payment of a graduated subsidy based on output would not be equitable to all sections of the trade. A baker's profits depend on the nature of his business and the size of the area which he serves. There is no necessary relationship between profits and volume of output.

Mr. Wakefield

Is the Minister aware that the big plant bakers get far more in the way of subsidies than they actually need, whereas the small bakers who use, perhaps, only one or two sacks of flour a day are going out of business because they cannot get enough?

Mr. Willey

The hon. Gentleman's proposal is not unattractive, but, having made a careful costings inquiry, it does not seem that the costings facts would support his contention.

Mr. Fernyhough

Can my hon. Friend say whether this is a Tory method of reducing the cost of living?