Frozen Chip Potatoes

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1977.

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Photo of Mr Edwin Wainwright Mr Edwin Wainwright , Dearne Valley 12:00 am, 5th December 1977

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will give the percentage price increase per year for frozen chips, the year 1974 being based at 100, together with the corresponding rates for the percentage increase of the price of potatoes.

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Prices and Consumer Protection)

The information is not available in the precise form requested, but I will circulate in the Official Report the data that are to hand.

Photo of Mr Edwin Wainwright Mr Edwin Wainwright , Dearne Valley

I thank my right hon. Friend for passing on the Question. My hon. Friend will recall that the Secretary of State said on 25th July this year that the new Price Commission Act would empower him to deal with the rising prices of potatoes and, of course, of frozen chips. Is he not aware that the profit margin is still 60 per cent. or more, that the Press and the public know that great profits are being made out of frozen chips, that his Department has done nothing since 25th July, and that if he wants to take more meaningful action he must take further steps to reduce the price of frozen chips to the retailer?

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Prices and Consumer Protection)

There has in fact been a substantial reduction—about 20 per cent.—in the average price of frozen chips between the second and third quarters of this year. The processors,

2nd quarter3rd quarter
19741975197619771977
Frozen chips and other convenience potato products*100128224244203
Potatoes, old white† (Retail price)100182421382168

* Source: National Food Survey. No separate information is available for frozen potato chips alone.

Source: RPI.