HC Deb 20 December 1954 vol 535 cc243-4W
Mr. S. Silverman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the saving to the Treasury by reason of alterations in consumers' food subsidies since October, 1951; and what has been the cost to the Treasury of Income Tax and Surtax concessions over the same period.

Mr. R. A. Butler

In answer to the first part of the Question, food prices have fluctuated since October, 1951, independently of changes in the rate of subsidies. It is therefore not possible to say what consumption would have been, or what the cost to the Exchequer would have been, if the subsidies or retail prices had been maintained at October, 1951, levels. Further, some subsidies to the consumer have been replaced by subsidies in support of agriculture. The cost, from April, 1952, to date, of the concessions on Income Tax and Surtax made in the 1952 and 1953 Budgets has been between £700 and £800 millions.