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Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will reconsider the phasing out of consumer subsidies in view of the accelerating character of inflation.

I fully appreciate the concern which is felt generally about rising prices, and my right hon. Friend has recently announced proposals for maintaining a system of price control in the future, as part of the Government's policy to combat inflation. However, in view of the need to reduce public expenditure, which plays a key rĂ´le in that policy, I regret that we cannot afford more money for consumer subsidies.