HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 cc1064-5
34. Mr. Higgs

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will discontinue forthwith the principle of charging for electricity used for domestic purposes on a flat rate plus a small charge per unit, because it encourages people to increase consumption and penalises those who are economical?

Major Lloyd George

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 23rd June to the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Colegate). I do not agree that the system has the general effect suggested by my hon. Friend, since the more one consumes the more one pays.

Mr. Higgs

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that people who burn a small amount of current pay Is a unit? Can he not see his way to charge a flat rate in the circumstances?

Major Lloyd George

It is possible for the consumer to go back on to the flat rate. I cannot agree that the more you use the less you pay.

Sir William Davison

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that great confusion has been caused in the public mind by receiving information that they get a cheaper rate if they burn a larger amount? I had letters yesterday from two people asking, "What are we to do? We are urged to be economical, but we are told that we get it cheaply if we use more."

Major Lloyd George

I think the hon. Gentleman is mixing up two things. The Question refers to a flat rate plus a small charge. The consumer pays a flat rate, which is agreed upon, and gets his units at a smaller price than he would otherwise. But it remains true that, the more he burns, the more he pays.