§ 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. 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?