Price Code

Oral Answers to Questions — Prices and Consumer Protection – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th March 1976.

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Photo of Mr Michael Neubert Mr Michael Neubert , Romford 12:00 am, 8th March 1976

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection how many companies have had to make use of the profit safeguard provisions in the Price Code.

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

The Price Commission publishes full information about notifications and applications under various profit safeguard provisions of the Price Code in its quarterly reports. It would not be possible to break these figures down between individual companies without disproportionate expense.

Photo of Mr Michael Neubert Mr Michael Neubert , Romford

Does the hon. Gentleman recall that at the Chequers Conference last November the Government undertook to ensure that industry would earn sufficient profits to spur management to expand and innovate and to generate internal finance on which it could base its investment? With profit levels now down to derisory levels, what actions are the Government taking to honour that undertaking?

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

The hon. Gentleman will be aware of the investment relief which the Government introduced. The hon. Gentleman's Government did nothing whatever in the way of introducing such relief. According to the claims made up to the end of November, we have given relief worth £348 million. There is scope under the existing code to rebuild some of the existing margins. I believe that that is as a result of our review of the code in1974