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Volume 82: debated on Monday 1 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the increase in the retail prices index (a) over the period 1979–80 to 1984–85 and (b) over the period 1980–81 to 1984–85; and if he will make a statement.

The retail prices index increased by 52·7 per cent. between financial years 1979–80 and 1984–85 and by 31·3 per cent. between financial years 1980–81 and 1984–85. Retail prices rose by 21· per cent. during the first financial year mentioned and by 6·9 per cent. in the last, indicating the success of present Government policy.