§ Mr. Ralph Howell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the oral reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North of 4 February,Official 143W Report, column 1154, what estimate he has made of income forgone as a result of the difference between the rate of increase in food prices and all items included in the retail prices index (a) in total since 1979 and (b) for each year since 1979 assuming that the extra price of food was all passed on to the producers.
§ Mr. MacGregor
It is not possible to estimate the levels of farm income forgone in the hypothetical situation envisaged without making a large number of arbitrary assumptions. Such estimates would in any case be open to different interpretations.