The year-on-year figure for the all-items index in December was 24·9 per cent.; the three-months' figure for all items was 3·9 per cent., or 18·1 per cent. expressed at an annual rate; the six-months' figure for the all-items index was 6·5 per cent. or 14 per cent. expressed at an annual rate.
The Government are satisfied that the country is on target to achieve the levels of inflation adumbrated in the White Paper. It is undeniable that the trends to which I have referred are encouraging. They are supported by the independent evidence of the Price Commission in its most recent quarterly report.
Does the hon. Gentleman recognise that the £6 incomes limit, which is inflationary, has the effect of transferring resources out of children's mouths? What action will the Government take to rectify this situation, or to bring it to the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Prime Minister?
The hon. Member is somewhat obscure. The £6 pay limit is working most effectively to bring down the cost of living in this country, which must be of benefit to children, old people and, indeed, all people alike. Measures that the Government have taken to subsidise food, particularly milk, are of special help to children.
Although the Under-Secretary has called in aid the Price Commission's report concerning the rate of inflation, is he aware that the Commission also states that 50 per cent. of our import bill is due to the depreciation of sterling? How are the Government going to put that right?