HC Deb 21 November 1972 vol 846 c1076
7. Miss Lestor

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the price of food is accounted for by the cost of packaging and tinning.

Mrs. Fenner

It is not possible to give a precise figure, but I would estimate that the proportion would be of the order of a fifth to a quarter.

Miss Lestor

Would the hon. Lady care to comment on the fact that although Government spokesmen have said repeatedly that food will not be subject to VAT, all packaging of food will be? In view of that, will the hon. Lady issue a statement informing the British house-wife by how much food which is packaged will go up as a result of the imposition of VAT?

Mrs. Fenner

VAT will apply only to foods in the range already covered by purchase tax. Some of those are packaged.

Mr. Ashton

With respect to the innocence and immaturity of the Minister, the Question relates to packaging and tinning. In any statement that she issues will she give details of the VAT which is applied to the television advertising of food, so that we may have an overall picture after next April?

Mrs. Fenner

There will be no great increase because of the causes that the hon. Gentleman mentions.

Mr. Charles Morrison

Will not the abolition of SET cause a reduction in the price of many foods?