§ Mr. J. H. Osborn
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average retail price of a pint of beer on 1st January, and the comparable figure at the beginning of each quarter for the previous five years, with the percentage increase in each instance; and what evidence he has of excessive increases in isolated instances.
§ Mr. Bryan
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Bishop) on 7th December.—[Vol. 808, c. 39.]
Following is the statement:
The General Index of Retail Prices relates to a Tuesday near the middle of each month. The prices given below therefore relate to the middle of each month. The latest figure available is that for 15th December, 1970.
AVERAGE PRICE OF DRAUGHT BEER SOLD IN PUBLIC BARS IN PENCE A PINT Year January April July October 1966 … 19.6 19.7 19.8 20.8 1967 … 20.8 20.8 20.8 20.8 1968 … 20.8 20.8 20.9 20.9 1969 … 21.9 24.0 24.0 24.0 1970 … 26.1 26.5 26.5 26.5 The average price in December, 1970 was 27.2d. a pint.
PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN THE AVERAGE PRICE OF DRAUGHT BEER SOLD IN PUBLIC BARS COMPARED WITH THE AVERAGE PRICE THREE MONTHS EARLIER Year January April July October 1966 … — +0.5 +0.5 +5.1 1967 … Nil Nil Nil Nil 1968 … Nil Nil +0.5 Nil 1969 … +4.8 +9.6 Nil Nil 1970 … +8.8 +1.5 Nil Nil The percentage change between October, 1970 and December, 1970 was 2.6.
The average price relates to a variety of beers in differing proportions and the figures are therefore not strictly comparable, in particular the change between January and April, 1969, was due largely to the inclusion of new types of beer.