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Industrial Products (Price Components)

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the problems and advantages of determining the United Kingdom added-value component in the prices of industrial products; and if he will carry out a study and make a statement.

I am afraid that the complexity and costs of making dependable valuations throughout industry far outweigh any advantage that might be found in such information.

Although I appreciate the enormous difficulties in this area, will my hon. Friend look at certain industrial sectors where the manufacturers believe that this is feasible, as the obvious advantage, for example, in public sector ordering in these areas would be enormous because of the very great advantage of anything providing United Kingdom added value in terms of the economy and the Treasury compared with the imported sector?

I have noted what my hon. Friend has said both today and in his letter to The Times. To apply this principle rather more generally is a very complex and costly operation, especially if we are to avoid some of the mistakes of double counting made in the past. However, if my hon. Friend has any speci- fic scheme in any specific sector in mind which he would like to put to me, I shall be happy to look at it.