§ Mr. Jopling
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what was the percentage increase in labour productivity for the periods 1970 to 1973 inclusive and 1974 to 1977 inclusive for the agriculture industry, using forecast figures where necessary;
(2) what was the percentage change in net product at constant prices for the periods 1970 to 1973 inclusive and 1974 to 1977 inclusive for the agriculture industry, using forecast figures where necessary.
§ Mr. John Silkin
The index of agricultural net product at constant—1975—prices and the index of labour productivity are published in table 19 of the White Paper on the "Annual Review of Agriculture 1978"—Cmnd. 7058. Net product shows an increase of just under 12 per cent. from 1970 to 1973 and is forecast to have fallen by about 1¾ per cent. between 1974 and 1977, a period which included the very dry weather of 1975 and the exceptional drought of 1976. Labour productivity, defined as changes in the volume of gross product at constant514W
The estimated net reductions in tax payments in each financial year are approximately as follows:
—1975—prices per person engaged in agriculture, rose by 18 per cent. from 1970 to 1973 and is forecast to rise by about 3½ per cent. from 1974 to 1977. The smaller increase in the second period again reflects the effects of the adverse weather on output. In 1977 there was a dramatic recovery in output over 1976: the index of net product rose by over 25 per cent.; and we expect a further increase this year.