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Volume 734: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2023

The Government are doing three things to reduce inflation. First, we remain steadfast in our support for the independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England as it takes action to return inflation to its 2% target. Secondly, we are making difficult but responsible decisions on tax and spending so that we do not add fuel to the fire. Thirdly, we are tackling high energy prices by holding down energy bills for households and businesses, alongside investing in long-term energy security.

The rich and powerful have repeatedly sought to blame workers for high inflation, even though workers’ real wages have been falling as inflation soars. Many leading economists now say that profiteering by certain corporations, not wages, is driving price rises. The French Government have taken action to limit food prices, and Spain has introduced rent controls. When will this Government start targeting the profiteering that is helping to drive inflation?

We continue to have constructive dialogue with industry and different sectors. I met supermarket representatives a few weeks ago, and the Chancellor and others in the Treasury will continue to have these conversations. I think most people recognise that we face common global challenges and that different economies will respond in different ways.