asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he is aware of the large increase in the water rate for the county borough of Southend-on-Sea; and whether he will refer this matter to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.
My right hon. Friend does not consider this is called for.
As the reason for the increase is largely attributable to the last Bud get but one, will the hon. Gentleman refer the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Prices and Incomes Board and so stop the price increase for which the right hon. Gentleman is responsible?
The hon. Gentleman has got it wrong. The company is having both to meet higher running costs and undertake heavy capital expenditure in order to meet the growing demand for water. That is why it has been found necessary to increase charges.