Skip to main content

Inflation

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current rate of inflation expressed as an annual rate based upon the most recent three months' statistics; and what was the annual rate of inflation based upon a similar calculation on 10th October 1974.

The rate of increase in the retail prices index in the three months to April expressed at an annual rate is 34·4 per cent. A similar calculation made on 10th October would have shown an annual rate of inflation of 8·4 per cent.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made towards reducing the rate of inflation towards his estimate made in September 1974 of what could be achieved, namely an annual rate of less than 10 per cent. by the end of 1975.

As my right hon. Friend told the House in his Budget Statement, there are good prospects that the cost of living will rise on average by little more than 1 per cent. a month in the second half of this year, provided that there is no acceleration in the present rate of wage and salary increases.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when the rate of inflation last exceeded the April figure of 3·9 per cent. in one month;(2) when the rate of inflation last exceeded the latest three-month figure of 9·2 per cent.;(3) when the rate of inflation last exceeded the latest 12-month figure of 21·7 per cent.

The rate of inflation, as measured by the General Index of Retail Prices, and previously by the Interim Index of Retail Prices and the Cost of Living Index, last exceeded the figure of 3·9 per cent. in one month in September 1939; it last exceeded the figure of 9·2 per cent. in the three months to the beginning of December 1939; and last exceeded the figure of 21·7 per cent. in one year in the year ending in November 1920.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now take further measures designed to reduce the rate of inflation.

In his Budget my right hon. Friend took a series of measures aimed at bringing down the inflation rate and offsetting the effect of excessive pay settlements. He has made clear that, if pay settlements continue to be excessive, he will have no alternative but to increase taxation or reduce public expenditure further.