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Food Distribution (Costs)

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 25 May 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has made an assessment of the increase in food distribution costs in Scotland as a direct consequence of the additional taxes and duties levied in the Budget.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hove (Mr. Sainsbury) on 26th April—[Vol. 930, c. 279–80.]—about the increased costs to food distributors in the United Kingdom arising from changes in vehicle excise duty and duties on road fuels. I am afraid that it is not possible to break down these estimates between different parts of the United Kingdom. I should add that the decision to rescind the increase in petrol duties will not substantially affect the estimates provided in that answer since most commercial vehicles use derv rather than petrol.