HC Deb 05 June 1962 vol 661 c191
19. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the rises in the cost of coal, gas, electricity and fares have contributed to the increase in the Cost of Living Index in the last twelve months.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Rather over half a point, of which the rises in the cost of coal and coke have contributed just under one-tenth of a point; gas just over one-twentieth of a point, electricity just over one-tenth of a point and fares three-tenths of a point.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is it not a fact that part of the increase in the price has been due to the need to meet capital requirements? Is it fair that people in the lower income groups should have to contribute to those capital requirements? Would it not be possible, especially in the case of the electricity industry, for the industry to go to the market for its capital rather than raise capital out of the lower income groups?

Mr. Lloyd

My hon. Friend is raising a very wide matter which was dealt with in the White Paper, Cmnd. 1337, dealing with the financial and economic obligations of the nationalised industries. That is a wide matter for debate and is not appropriate for question and answer.

Mr. Channon

Will my right hon. and learned Friend recall what the Economic Secretary said last week on the subject of fares, and will he draw the attention of the Minister of Transport to the serious effect which fare increases have on the travelling population?

Mr. Lloyd

I listened to my hon. Friend's excellent speech on this matter.