Retail Prices

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1970.

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Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what immediate steps he intends to take to control the rise in the cost of living.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

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.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South

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.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

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.

Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Lambeth Norwood

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?