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Prices And Incomes Policy

Volume 774: debated on Monday 25 November 1968

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity to what extent in applying the Government's prices and incomes policy she takes account of the need to reduce personal consumption.

Individual prices and incomes cases are assessed in the light of the criteria and considerations set out in the current White Paper on productivity, prices and incomes policy.

Cannot the right hon. Lady now grasp the fact that every time she bullies a manufacturer into freezing his prices she is undermining the Chancellor's strategy of lowering the standard of living? Because she continues in that policy, is she not personally responsible to a very large measure for the additional £250 million of taxation imposed by the Chancellor on Friday?

I hope that one day the hon. Member will realise, in face of the repetition of this point both by myself and by the Chancellor, that the Government's policy on prices and incomes has a prices side to it and that that side is intended to see that price increases which are unjustified do not take place. On that the Government are united. It is an integral part of our economic strategy.

Is it not extraordinary that only a few days ago in this House, in the light of the supposed prices policy, arguments were being advanced to restrain the public bar prices charged by brewers in Wolverhampton, and yet this week those prices will inevitably have risen as a result of Government action?

It is equally obvious that the prices side of the policy has been extremely effective.