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Price Increase Regulation

Volume 933: debated on Monday 20 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he will make a statement on his further specific proposals for transitional arrangements under Clause 21 of the Price Commission Bill.

My right hon. Friend intends that the provisions in the present Price Code which regulate price increases by reference to increases in costs should come to an end by 1st August 1977 or as soon as administratively possible thereafter. My right hon. Friend has therefore tabled an amendment to the transitional provisions set out in Clause 21 of the Price Commission Bill to ensure that this has to be done by 1st October 1977 at the latest.

Does not the Minister feel that he is getting dangerously close to the deadline of 1st October? Does he not realise that we may have a new Government by October? Should he not therefore make his proposals clearer much earlier than that time?

I do not think that we shall have a new Government by that time. The date 1st October is the latest date. Of course, in normal circumstances we would expect to have our proposals ready long before that time.