HC Deb 18 February 1953 vol 511 cc1228-9
27. Miss Burton

asked the Minister of Food the increased cost per person per week for rationed foods since April, 1952, to the latest convenient date; and whether he will name any foods rationed in April but de-rationed since, if these are not included in the final estimate of increase.

Major Lloyd George

About 7½d. excluding tea and gammon on ration levels at April, 1952.

Miss Burton

Do I understand from what the Minister has said that the increase on rationed foods per person per week over the past year has been about 7½d.? Did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell us that the increase over the previous year was 1s. 5½d.?

Major Lloyd George

The hon. Lady had better look at her Question again. It says "since April, 1952." I have given her the figures since April, 1952.

28. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Food what is the present rate of subsidy on the price of each of the rationed commodities now subsidised; and what is the weekly value of the food subsidies to a family of four compared with that of 12 months ago.

Major Lloyd George

As the answer to the first part of the Question contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The weekly value of the subsidies to a family of four is estimated at 9s. 5d. during the current financial year as compared with 12s. 8d. the previous year.

Mr. Swingler

May we have a firm assurance from the Minister that, before he contemplates final extinction, he will put up a battle on behalf of the poorer housewives to maintain the subsidies which are left? Can we have an assurance that there will be no further tampering with the subsidies this year?

Major Lloyd George

I should not have thought the hon. Gentleman wanted an assurance. The family of four that he mentions is 3s. per week better off since this Government came to office as a result of my right hon. Friend's Budget.

Following is the information:

Commodity Unit Unit Subsidy
Bacon lb. 7½d.
Eggs doz. 10d.
Meat (carcase) lb. 1½d.
Butter lb. 8¼d.
Cheese lb. 1½d.
Margarine (domestic) lb. 1¾d.
Cooking fat (domestic) lb. 2d.
Sugar (domestic) lb. 1¼d.