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Volume 164: debated on Monday 8 January 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the effect on the rate of inflation since 1986 of the increase in the price of assets, including houses; what was the increase in (a) overhead costs of employers and employees respectively and (b) wage increases granted to employees; and if he will provide regional as well as national figures.

Increases in mortgage interest payments, including the lagged effect of house prices, contributed two percentage points to the annual rate of RPI inflation in the year to November, compared with half a percentage point in the year to January 1987. There are no official figures available for the overhead costs of employers or employees. Figures for average earnings are published in the Employment Gazette and New Earnings Survey, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current rate of inflation in the United Kingdom and in the Group of Five leading industrial nations.

More comparable inflation rates for members of the five leading industrial countries are given in the following table:

More comparable consumer price inflation rates
Latest figures1
United Kingdom26 ·1
United States of America4·4
1 Figures for the United Kingdom and France are for November, the United States of America and Germany are for October and for Japan, September.
2 The United Kingdom figure is for RPI excluding mortgage interest payments; figures for other countries exclude estimates of owner occupiers' housing costs as appropriate.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is taking to curb inflation; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's tight monetary and fiscal policies are working. Demand is slowing and lower inflation will follow.