§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what changes have taken place in the retail cost of basic food items over the last eight weeks; and if he will introduce measures which would have the effect of reducing the price of food.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
The mid-January retail food price index, the latest available, shows a 3.7 per cent. increase compared with mid-November. About half of this is attributable to the effects of the recent severe weather on prices of seasonal foods, especially fresh vegetables.334W
Throughout this Adminstration the increase in food prices has been kept well below the rate of inflation. I shall continue to pursue policies designed to strike a fair balance between the interests of producers and consumers of food in this country.