§ Mr. Gow
Will the Paymaster-General reconsider the last part of his answer? Does he not agree that it is essential that the resolution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this matter be sustained? Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House of the favourable consequences of that part of the Chancellor's policies in respect of which he is remaining firm so far as the Budget deficit is concerned?
§ Mr. Dell
In reply to the last part of the supplementary question, I cannot give any figures about the Budget deficit. As to the first part, I do not think hon. Members opposite are in a position to complain about my right hon. Friend's resolution. Hon. Members opposite handed over to us a vast deficit on this account, which we are now trying to correct.
§ Mr. Mike Thomas
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that these increases in nationalised industry prices bear heavily on those least able to meet them, and that increases in benefits may not be enough to alleviate the problem, particularly in respect of electricity prices? Will my right hon. Friend say what he proposes to do about them?
§ Mr. Dell
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy indicated recently, he has asked the electricity industry to weight the electricity price increases in favour of the small consumer. Something similar was done in respect of the gas price increases earlier in the year. I believe that the main emphasis here in helping to alleviate the undoubted problem to which my hon. Friend refers must be through the social security system.
§ Mr. Moate
Is the Paymaster-General aware that if the present railway fare proposals are accepted, railway fares will have gone up by about 43 per cent. in 12 months, and yet British Rail is still faced with a continuing and massive deficit? Is it not a fact that the finances of nationalised industry are out of control?