HC Deb 13 June 1968 vol 766 cc411-2
23. Mr. Ian Gilmour

asked the Postmaster-General on what financial criteria he increased the charge for alarm calls from 6d. to 2s., which is an increase of 300 per cent,

Mr. Mason

The charge is being increased to eliminate the current heavy loss on this service. Charges for most alarm calls have been unchanged for 12 years.

Mr. Gilmour

Is not the increase of 300 per cent, absolutely staggering? Is the Postmaster-General aware that the Report by the Prices, and Incomes Board indicated that the additional yield from these charges will be negligible?

Mr. Mason

The N.B.P.I. did not dissent from this proposal. We estimate that there are 13½ million calls a year and the extra Is. 6d., if the present number of people used the service, would bring in £937,000. There would obviously be some loss of traffic and we are losing £600,000 at the moment, so probably this would just pay its way.