§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection by what percentage retail food prices have risen from October 1974 to the most recent date for which figures are available; and what was the comparable percentage figure for an equal period of months ended October 1974.
§ Mr. Maclennan
Percentage increases in the Retail Food Index over two consecutive 18-month periods to the latest available date are set out below. Because the comparison is influenced by seasonal price movements for certain foods the percentage increases in the seasonal and non-seasonal food sub-indices have been included.
Percentage increases 17th April 1973 to 15th October 1974 15th October 1974 to 13th April 1976 Retail Food Index of which— 26.0 41.9 non-seasonal foods index 28.8 34.5 seasonal foods index* 14.4 81.5 * Includes potatoes.
The rate of increase in the non-seasonal food index and the overall food index in the 18-month period ending 15th October 1974 was held back by the development of the food subsidy programme. In the subsequent period the programme had less effect on the rate of increase but of course continues to contain the level of the indices below what they would otherwise have been.