§ 15. Mr. A. Lewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that from 1952 until 1962 the price of food rose by 32.5 per cent.; what were the reasons for this increase; and what action he proposes to take to reduce the price of food.
§ Mr. Soames
By far the major part of the increase came in 1952–56, as a direct result of the Government's2W decision to abolish food subsidies. Since then, the rise has been of the order of 1½ per cent. per year. This compares with an increase of about 2½ per cent. in the cost of living generally, and has been largely due to increases in wages and distribution costs, fuel and transport.
Our food and agricultural arrangements ensure that our food generally in this country can be got more cheaply than under any other effective system.