§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that, since the Government's announcement of a 10 per cent. surcharge, many brewers have already announced price increases in their products in excess of this 10 per cent.; and what action he has taken to see that the Government increases in taxation have not and will not be used as a means of increasing prices above the tax increases proposed.
§ Mr. Peart
I am not aware that many brewers have announced price increases in their products in excess of the regulator duty increases. But in a few cases, the duty increase caught up with a wholesale price increase that had already been cleared with my Department under the early warning arrangements and put into effect. Consequently both the resultant increases in retail prices took place at the same time.
I agree with my hon. Friend that tax increases must on no account be used by firms as an excuse to obtain extra income and I am keeping a close watch on the position.