Food Price Inflation - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:52 am on 19th May 2022.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Conservative 11:52 am, 19th May 2022

My Lords, there are not many forces working on food prices, but I think that it is generally agreed that soaring international prices for oil and gas are one of the main drivers. There seems to be a resigned view among Ministers that there is nothing much that we can do about this. That is not correct. Our ports at the moment are jammed with frozen gas ships ready to deliver gas into the system and bearing down on all gas prices, which ought to benefit consumers. Internationally, there is substantial spare capacity in oil production; if we have the right diplomatic initiatives and work with others, we can get that going as well. Both these things would have a far bigger effect on reducing the inflation of energy and food than any other single measure. Can the Minister encourage his colleagues in the Foreign Office to get on and focus on this major and central issue?