HC Deb 03 February 1948 vol 446 cc259-60W
84. Mr. Cooper-Key

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is great disproportion between the permitted rate of increase in the prices for the sale of shoes compared with those allowed for repairs; whether he is aware that the maximum permitted increase in the charges for repairs of boots and shoes is inadequate by reason of the increased cost of leather, and results in actual loss to the repairer; and whether he will sanction an increase of at least 4d. in the 1s. as against the maximum of 1½d. in the 1s. now permitted.

Mr. Belcher

I do not think that the comparison suggested in the first part of the hon. Member's Question is valid, since the cost of leather represents a much higher proportion of the cost of footwear than of the cost of repairs, and the increase in the ceiling prices for utility footwear also took account of other increases in costs, notably a wage increase. Moreover, the permitted increase in footwear repair charges applies to all repair work, even though only just over three-fifths of the materials which are used by shoe repairers is leather. With regard to the second part of the Question, I agree that some revision is required, and an Order fixing separate charges for leather and non-leather repairs will be made before the end of this month. With regard to the third part of the Question, I would ask the hon. Member to await the amending Order.