asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his Department's estimate of the effect of the budget and related matters on the retail price index as a whole and of the RPI for retirement pensioners in particular.
As my right hon. Friend explained in his Budget Statement, the Budget changes in VAT, Customs and Excise duties and vehicle excise duties will add about 2¾per cent. to the RPI over the next three months or so. The effect on the index for one-person pensioner households will be about 1½per cent.; for two-person pensioner households it will be about 2 ¼ per cent.