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Retail Prices

Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what was the percentage rise in retail prices in each of the past five years; and what the corresponding figures were for each of the other member countries of the EEC.

The information is as follows:

INCREASES IN CONSUMER PRICES IN EEC COUNTRIES
Percentage change on year earlier:
Country19721973197419751976
West Germany5·56·97·06·04·5
France5·97·314·011·89·2
Italy5·710·819·117·016·8
Netherlands7·88·09·710·28·8
Belgium5·57·012·612·79·2
Luxembourg5·26·29·410·89·8
Denmark6·69·315·29·69·0
Irish Republic8·711·317·020·918·0
United Kingdom7·19·216·124·216·5

Sources: International Financial Statistics Department of Employment.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection upon what evidence he bases his statement of 2nd May in answer to the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mrs. Oppenheim), Official Report, 2nd May, column 5, that the index of retail prices will remain at or about its present level for the next three or four months and then begin to reduce from the autumn onwards.

Even the hon. Member should appreciate that I had in mind the rate of increase in the retail price index. The stability of the exchange rate for sterling and the success of the present pay agreement are but two of the factors which will ensure that the rate of inflation reduces from the autumn onwards.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what action he is taking to implement the recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading on the display of prices for goods or services which do not include the amount of VAT payable.

The Director General's proposals are at present being considered by the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee. I shall consider what action to take when the Committee has reported.