asked the Secretary of State for Employment what will be the effect of the forthcoming increases in the price of coal, and the consequential rise in the price of electricity and steel, on the retail price index.
The prospective increase in the price of coal to domestic consumers is expected to increase the retail prices index by about one-quarter of 1 per cent. relative to its present-January 1975-level. The increase in domestic electricity charges resulting from higher coal prices could add a further one-fifth of 1 per cent. to the index.I regret that no reliable estimates are available of the other indirect effects on the index of the increase in coal prices.