There is a serious wage-cost inflation which is pushing up the cost of living and threatening our competitiveness. Many price increases will flow from the substantial wage increases already secured. Our methods of reducing Government expenditure, reducing the burden of taxation, encouraging savings and increasing competition are set out in our manifesto and in the Gracious Speech.
In my right hon. Friend's scrutiny of these important matters will he have regard to the special and critically important position of the nationalised industries, especially the threat by the National Coal Board to raise all its prices by 10 per cent. shortly, which will have a most damaging influence on the prices of steel and electricity and will give a vicious upward spiral to further inflation.
I will say something about that, if I may, in my speech later. On the general subject, it is a fact that during our years in office we had a vastly superior record on prices to that of hon. Members opposite, and we expect to do so again.
Could the right hon. Gentleman confirm that as the Government have done little about recent price rises, the only price which will be cut by this Government will be the price of principle?