Inflation and Employment

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th January 1975.

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Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Glasgow Cathcart 12:00 am, 16th January 1975

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the prospects for containing inflation and maintaining employment in 1975.

Photo of Mr Robert Sheldon Mr Robert Sheldon Minister of State (HM Treasury)

The most important single factor in determining the rate of inflation in 1975 is likely to be pay settlements. Maintaining employment will depend both on our international competitiveness and on avoiding a recession in world trade.

Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Glasgow Cathcart

Is an interim Budget contemplated at this stage? On the crucial importance of pay settlements to which the Minister has referred, will he say whether there is any truth in the sugges- tion that the Government are delaying effective controls on wages until the miners' dispute is settled?

Photo of Mr Robert Sheldon Mr Robert Sheldon Minister of State (HM Treasury)

I have nothing further to say on the date of the Budget. The date will be announced in due course by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As pay settlements are at present the main contribution to the level of inflation, it is hoped that they will all be settled within the social contract. Any assistance that can be given in that respect will be welcomed in the light of our expectation regarding future inflation.

Photo of Mr Peter Rost Mr Peter Rost , Derbyshire South East

What is the current rate of inflation?

Photo of Mr Robert Sheldon Mr Robert Sheldon Minister of State (HM Treasury)

The current rate of inflation is 18ยท3 per cent. year on year since November 1973.

Photo of Mr Geraint Howells Mr Geraint Howells , Cardigan

Will the Minister give an assurance that farmers will be adequately recouped for the cost of production at this year's price review?

Photo of Mr Robert Sheldon Mr Robert Sheldon Minister of State (HM Treasury)

The hon. Gentleman will know that that is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.