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Food Prices

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the movement in food prices in the last five years; what was the equivalent movement between 1974 and 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Over the past five years the annual increase in food prices has been 4·4 per cent. That compares with an increase of 16·5 per cent. per year between 1974 and 1979.

Will my hon. Friend underline again and again and again that food prices rise much faster under Labour Governments than ever they do under Conservative Governments? Will he use the present favourable conditions to phase out battery farming and intensive farming wherever possible? Above all, will he let the housewives know that a Labour Government would cost them a fortune?

My hon. Friend is right. The Labour party has spent most of this afternoon pretending to be the friend of the consumer, but any Government who presided over rising food prices of that order are the enemy of every consumer in the country.