§ Mr. Clemitson
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what was the percentage rise in retail food prices in each of the past five years; and what the corresponding figures were for each of the other member countries of the EEC.
§ Mr. John Fraser
The information is as follows:
FOOD PRICE INCREASES IN EEC COUNTRIES Percentage change on year earlier Country 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 West Germany 6.2 7.6 4.7 5.2 5.1 France 7.9 9.4 12.6 10.1 10.7 Italy 6.3 12.0 17.8 18.0 17.1 Netherlands 6.6 7.9 7.2 8.0 9.9 Belgium 6.6 8.0 9.4 11.2 12.3 Luxembourg 6.7 7.0 9.0 11.2 12.1 Denmark 9.0 13.6 11.9 11.1 10.8 Irish Republic 11.8 16.4 14.6 21.4 16.5 United Kingdom 8.9 15.1 18.0 25.6 20.0
Sources: UN Monthly Bulletin of Statistics; Department of Employment.360W
The coverage of the underlying index varies between countries particularly in respect of the inclusion of alcoholic drink and tobacco.
§ Mr. Roper
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what was the percentage increase in the price of (a) all food items, (b) foods subject to the common agricultural policy and (c) foods not subject to the common agricultural policy in 1976 and from the beginning of phase 2 until the latest date for which statistics are available.
§ Mr. Hattersley
The retail food index increased by 22.1 per cent. in the 12 months up to the end of 1976, and by 17.7 per cent. between August 1976 and March 1977.
The common agricultural policy (CAP) support prices were raised by 7½ per cent. on average in the price package in spring 1976, and by 3½ per cent. in the price package in the spring 1977. In addition, support prices in the United Kingdom have been increased by the transitional steps due under the Treaty of Accession, the last of which is to take place on 31st December this year. Taking account both of the increases negotiated in the price package, and of the transitional steps, the 1976 price package is estimated to have increased the retail food index by about 2 per cent. and the 1977 package by about 1¼ per cent. during the period to next April.
The prices set under the CAP are farm support prices, not retail prices. Some farm products supported under the CAP enter into the production costs of others not so supported; and many foods in the shops contain a combination of farm products supported under the CAP and those not so supported. This means that it is not possible to distinguish clearly between those foods in the shops which are and are not subject to the CAP.