§ Mr. Marten
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will set out the method of calculation and the factors brought into the calculation by his Department when arriving at estimates of the effect of the CAP and the cost of living.
§ Mr. Maclennan
The Government's estimate of the effect on the average level of retail food prices of the increase in CAP support prices for the 1976–77 marketing year, including the United Kingdom transitional step, was announced by my right hon. Friend the former Minister of Agriculture on 8th March 1976. The figure given was 2 per cent. The effect of the increases agreed this year for the 1977–78 marketing year, again including transitional steps, was announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture on 27th April. The figure for the period up to 1st April 1978 was 1¼ per cent.
The method of calculation is, first, to estimate the sterling value of the increases in first-hand market prices of the 558W commodities affected by changes in CAP support prices, and secondly, to express this sum as a percentage of consumers' estimated total expenditure on food during the period in question.