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Clause 11. — (Prices and Charges Enforcement.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Prices and Incomes Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th August 1966.

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Photo of Mrs Jill Knight Mrs Jill Knight , Birmingham, Edgbaston 12:00 am, 9th August 1966

This part of the Bill is utterly unfair because it refers virtually completely to the private sector as opposed to the public sector. We cannot take the mote out of the eye of private enterprise while ignoring the beam in the eye of State enterprise.

One of my hon. Friends spoke earlier about social justice being outraged. It is in this context that it seems that social justice is being outraged, since costs will be forced up in the private sector by Government action—including S.E.T., petrol increases and so on—while, at the same time, State Departments are apparently being allowed to fix their prices at whatever level they choose.

I had a very angry letter from a constituent yesterday saying that Ordnance Survey maps had gone up in price by an enormous amount—from 8s. 6d. to 16s. My constituent was told that it was in order to pay for maps which would be available in 1980. It is the height of "topsy-turvyism" to permit a State Department to put up costs by this much for something which will not be available for 14 years. Why is that permissible, yet these subsections will remain? To carry public opinion with us, we must appear to provide social justice.