§ Mr. Jessel
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection why new potatoes are included in the cost of living index.
§ Mr. Booth
I have been asked to reply.
The General Index of Retail Prices measures the change in the prices of all the goods and services consumed by over four-fifths of the households in the United Kingdom. The 350 separate items, the prices of which are included in the index, were chosen as representative of all items consumed by households and particular items are included when they account for a significant proportion of total household expenditure. When in season new potatoes easily qualify for inclusion, but their price is reduced to allow for their higher quality compared with old potatoes.