HC Deb 04 February 1971 vol 810 cc1911-2
Q8. Mr. Hardy

asked the Prime Minister what further steps he proposes, by legislation or otherwise, to create a fair society.

The Prime Minister

Our fiscal policies are designed to ensure that genuine achievement is fairly rewarded. At the same time we are reshaping social policies so as to direct more effective help to those in greatest need.

Mr. Hardy

Will the right hon. Gentleman try to maintain and fulfil his prime aim, which was expressed in the Gracious Speech, to create a fair society? Will he cast aside his smug complacency and tackle the problems of the increasing incidence of malnutrition and rising unemployment?

The Prime Minister

I am certainly prepared to tackle that. If the hon. Gentleman will also do his utmost to ensure that inflationary wage increases are overcome, he will be helping as well.

Mr. Bob Brown

I remember the right hon. Gentleman saying something about "one nation" on the steps of Downing Street on 19th June last. Does he not agree that he would be going a step along the road to creating one nation if he stopped Treasury Bench Members making inflammatory speeches and lecturing wage earners about inflationary wage settlements, bearing in mind the Government's attitude to the settlements for doctors, judges, chairmen of nationalised industries and senior civil servants?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman must recognise that excessive wage increases are inflationary and put up costs. [Interruption.] I see that the hon. Gentleman does recognise that. Therefore, I suggest that he urges those who are pressing for them not to do so. The particular groups of people he has mentioned were dealt with by inquiries and reports. In fact, the majority of these increases were accepted by the Leader of the Opposition when he was Prime Minister and we implemented them later. The remainder were consequential upon them.