HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 c273W
Mr. Biffen

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection how many bakeries have announced their intended closure since the enactment of bread subsidies.

Mr. Maclennan

There is no requirement that intended closures of bakeries should be notified to the Government, but my attention has been drawn to recent decisions by three of the plant bakers to close down particular bread baking plants. I do not accept that these decisions are in any way related to the introduction of the subsidy.

Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what representations she has received from bakeries as to the effect of the bread subsidy; and what action she proposes to take to avert the risk of bakeries closing down.

Mr. Maclennan

I have received a number of representations from master bakers suggesting that the present rate of subsidy is insufficient to cover their cost increases, but the industry generally has accepted that the subsidy is in line with the returns that would otherwise have been obtained from sales of the subsidised loaves following notifications to the Price Commission. The Federation of Bakers has made separate representations about the effects of certain aspects of the Price Code, to which I am giving urgent consideration.