It is estimated that in the financial year ending 31st March, 1968, the 2d. per gallon surcharge on fuel oil may increase agricultural and horticultural costs by about £2½ million of which about £0·4 million relates to oil used for glasshouse heating.
Will the hon. Gentleman make quite sure that the officials in his Department looking into the effects of devaluation on the agriculture industry alone will take into account the extra burden which the hard-pressed horticultural industry will experience through devaluation?
Since not even this Government would suggest burning coal in agricultural tractors, why can they not remove the fuel oil tax altogether from agriculture?
The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) asked me specifically about agriculture, and I replied about agriculture. If the right hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Godber) is asking me about horticulture now, I am prepared to answer him. The right hon. Gentleman obviously did not listen to what his hon. Friend asked me. There is the Horticulture Improvement Scheme to help the horticulture industry, and it is taking tremendous advantage of it to the tune of about £5½ million a year.