Following the Government statement on food price inflation, Andrew Bridgen welcomes the continued freeze on fuel duty, which is a welcome support for both food producers and the food processing industry.
Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Ind)
Let me first draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
Before the recent rises in energy and fuel costs, the UK had the most affordable food prices in its history and was considered to have the third most affordable food prices in the world. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Chancellor made exactly the right decision in continuing to freeze fuel duty, and that that will be extremely welcome both to food producers and to the food processing industry?
The Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries (Mark Spencer)
My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the fact that we have benefited from very low food prices for a number of decades, because of the robust systems that we have in place for retailers and producers of high-quality food. He is also right to recognise that fuel costs are a huge driver of inflation if they are allowed to rise dramatically. That is why the Chancellor has maintained that support, and I am glad that he will continue to do so in the future.