§ The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Fred Peart)
I gave the fullest possible consideration to the needs of consumers within the overall national interest.
§ Mr. Gould
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the proposed package of food price rises is bad news not only for the consumer but for the taxpayer, who will have to pay to get rid of food surpluses which consumers cannot afford? Does not this further turn of the CAP screw undermine the whole basis of the Government's counter-inflation policy?
§ Mr. Peart
I cannot accept that. The effect by the end of the year of the price review, details of which I announced on 8th March, may be to add 1¼ per cent. to the retail food index. I remind my hon. Friends that the farm workers' leader, Mr. Reg Bottini, has said that he believes that farm workers will benefit from this deal.
§ Mr. Michael Latham
Is it not important in the interests of consumers that there should be a steady expansion of our domestic agricultural industry, and does not that mean realistic prices?