asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether she has determined the criteria upon which she will allow price increases in the nationalised industries; and by what dates she expects them to be in surplus.
The Government have set out in paragraphs 97–106 of the Price Code—Statutory Instrument 1974 No. 2113, as amended by No. 2158—the criteria to be followed by the Price Commission when considering price increase applications by nationalised industries. It is not possible to estimate a date by which nationalised industries as a whole can be expected to be in surplus. The recent application to the Price Commission by the Post Office Corporation is designed to reduce its deficit in the 1975–76 accounting year to about £50 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what cases she has referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission asking it to investigate and report on nationalised industries; and what reports are currently available.
None, in respect of the nationalised industries' statutory monopolies. But the commission's report on connection charges for electricity and gas was published in July 1972 (Cmnd. 5036) and that on cross-Channel car ferry services, including those operated by British Rail, was published as a House of Commons paper (No. 14) on 10th April 1974.