HC Deb 17 June 1982 vol 25 c1077
8. Mr. Parry

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest purchasing power of the £ sterling compared with May 1979, taking the May 1979 value as 100.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Sixty-eight pence in April 1982.

Mr. Parry

Is the Minister proud of the Government's record in the falling value of the pound, together with the nearly 4 million unemployed, high inflation and squeezes in the public sector? When does he expect the 1979 value of the pound to drop to 50p?

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The Government are not complacent about the inflation performance. I am bound to point out to the hon. Gentleman that when his party was last in power, in the corresponding first two years and 11 months of the last Labour Government the value of the pound fell from 100p when they took office to 59p. The Labour Party is in no position to speak about such matters. We can say that the trend of inflation is downwards, is progressing, if anything, faster than we foresaw, and that we are fully on course to achieve our objectives for inflation at the end of this year, next year and ahead.

Mr. John Townend

Does my hon. Friend agree that a significant factor in that figure was the explosion of public sector pay in the Government's first year of office? One of the most important factors in that regard was the work of the Clegg Commission and the Pay Research Unit, which we inherited from the Labour Government.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The answer to that must be "Yes, indeed". We have learnt a great deal from that experience. .

Forward to