Inflation

Oral Answers to Questions — Prices and Consumer Protection – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1976.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Mike Thomas Mr Mike Thomas , Newcastle upon Tyne East 12:00 am, 2nd February 1976

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what were the annual, six-monthly and three-monthly rates of inflation at the last available date.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what the 12-month increase in the retail price index is.

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Prices and Consumer Protection)

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.

Photo of Mr Mike Thomas Mr Mike Thomas , Newcastle upon Tyne East

In the forthcoming and present negotiations with the TUC about the successor to the £6 pay limit, how categoric do the Government feel able to be about achieving the Chancellor of the Exchequer's target of single-figure inflation by the end of the year?

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Prices and Consumer Protection)

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.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West

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?

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Prices and Consumer Protection)

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.

Photo of Mr Giles Shaw Mr Giles Shaw , Pudsey

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?