Nationalised Industry Consumers

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1977.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dodsworth Mr Geoffrey Dodsworth , South West Hertfordshire 12:00 am, 5th December 1977

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what are his policies with regard to the proposals contained in the National Consumer Council's report "Consumers and the Nationalised Industries "(August 1976); and if he will make a statement.

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

Since the Government received the NCC Report "Consumers and the Nationalised Industries" last year, we have engaged in extensive consultations. The Government intend to publish their response as soon as possible in a White Paper on the nationalised industries, which will also reply to the report of the National Economic Development Office.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dodsworth Mr Geoffrey Dodsworth , South West Hertfordshire

Will the Minister be kind enough to make representations to the Chairman of the Price Commission asking him to receive representations on behalf of rail users in respect of price increases which are to be effective from 8th January 1978 but on which the results of an investigation will not be received until February?

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

It is not necessary for me to make such representations to the Chairman of the Price Commission, who will no doubt receive representations from those who are interested in the matter which the Commission has under investigation as regards British Rail.

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

When will the White Paper on the nationalised industries be published?

Photo of Mr Robert McCrindle Mr Robert McCrindle , Brentwood and Ongar

As one of the Ministers responsible for consumer protection, will the hon. Gentleman say what action he is taking to ensure that further consideration is given towards allowing essential and inescapable commuter expenditure to be set off against personal income tax? Is he opposing the attitude of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this matter?

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

It would be sensible to wait for the conclusion of the Price Commission's investigation of the proposed increase. One will then be able to consider where to take the matter.