§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Prime Minister whether she will make it her policy to veto the European Commission's proposal to impose a tax on vegetable oilseeds and oils; if she will publish in the Official Report an assessment of the effect of such a tax on public health, the nourishment of those on social security, and on output and employment in (i) agriculture and (ii) the rest of the economy including the effect on imports from and exports to non-European Economic Community countries, and on the seed-growing, seed crushing and margarine industries.
§ The Prime Minister
We have made no detailed forecasts of the dietary or trade effects of the Commission's latest proposal for an oils and fats tax. The Government remain firmly opposed to the principle of solving the budgetary problems of the oils and fats sector by taxing consumers and exacerbating problems of international trade.