HC Deb 07 November 1961 vol 648 cc786-7
27. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken during the last two months to reduce the cost of living in Great Britain; and what further steps he proposes to take.

34. Mr. Dodds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has for bringing down the cost of living.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

I am pursuing policies indicated in my statement of 25th July to improve our balance of payments to strengthen sterling, and to reduce inflationary pressures. The success of these policies is a condition precedent to price stability.

Mr. Hughes

Does not the Chancellor of the Exchequer realise that his policy has been so misguided as to help the rich and injure the poor? Will he, therefore, take the advice of better and distinguished economists, such as the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) and the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay)?

Mr. Lloyd

That is a very debatable and doubtful proposition, and I think that we are to have the opportunity of debating it later in the day.

Mr. Dodds

In view of what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said about the measures that he is introducing, will he tell the House whether he has confidence that they will reduce the cost of living in the next few months? If he cannot do that, will he explain the mystery that ten years ago it was said that his party would mend the hole in the purse? That hole is still open. When shall we see it closed, or will its closure take more than ten years?

Mr. Lloyd

I believe that it is very necessary to get rid of the existing inflationary pressures. I also think that the essence of the problem is that we should work out a better relationship between increases in incomes and increases in production.

Mr. Hughes

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise this matter on the Adjournment.