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Retail Prices (Subsidies)

Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food in connection with the subsidies and applied trading profits of £137,000,000 voted to keep down the cost of living, what, in the case of each main commodity, this represents in £ s. d. on retail prices?

The figure of £137,000,000 represents the approximate annual rate of subsidy on foodstuffs in the quarter ended 31st March, 1942, as stated by my Noble Friend in another place on r4th July, 1942. I informed the House on 13th May, 1943, that the cost of food subsidies for the year ended 31st March, 1943, was approximately £145,000,000 net, and, if I may be allowed to base my reply on these up-to-date figures, the subsidies represent in the case of the principal commodities concerned reductions in retail prices of the following amounts:Bread, 2d. per quartern; flour, 3½d. per 7 lbs.; meat 1½ per 1b.; milk, ½d. per quart; potatoes, 3½d. per 7 1b.; eggs, 1s. 9d. per dozen; sugar, 2⅓d. per 1b. on sugar other than for manufacturing purpose.In addition the National Milk Scheme provides for the sale of milk at 2d. per pint (or free) to beneficiaries as compared with the current retail price of 4d. or 4½d. per pint.