asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the retail price index on 1 January 1973 and 1 March 1982; what was the comparable level of prices paid to farmers on those dates; and if he will estimate the proportion of the retail price accounted for by farm prices on each of those dates.
Comparable information is available only to January 1982. The retail food price index—based on January 1974 = 100—stood at 83·2 in January 1973 and at 296·1 in January 1982, an increase of 256 per cent. Over the same period the agricultural producer price index rose by 200 per cent. The value of home produced food at the farm gate accounts for about one quarter of consumers' expenditure on food.