HC Deb 26 April 1990 vol 171 cc477-8
23. Mr. Lambie

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of how much in combination the increases in electricity, gas, water charges, mortgage repayments and the poll tax will cost, in 1990–91 as against 1989–90, a family on average earnings with two children.

Mr. Ryder

It is not the practice to provide forecasts of interest rates. However, the announced increases in gas, electricity and water rates, together with the community charge, are estimated to add over 1 percentage point to the RPI inflation rate in 1990–91.

Mr. Lambie

As the figures given today make nonsense of the Government's claim to be conquering inflation., is the Chancellor of the Exchequer now prepared to revise the estimates of inflation given in the Budget for the end of the year 1990?

Mr. Ryder

No, we are not.

Mr. Ian Bruce

Does my hon. Friend agree that over the next decade the prices of those particular commodities are likely to have to rise because of problems associated with the environment and the bringing in of greener policies? Does he also agree that it is arrant nonsense for Opposition Members to ask for green policies and then complain about the price of those policies?

Mr. Ryder

As my hon. Friend knows, those matters are being considered in the White Paper being prepared by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. With regard to the Opposition's green policies, the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) brought out a short paper on that issue just before the Budget. Doubtless the Opposition Front Bench will table amendments to our various proposals in the Budget during the passage of the Finance Bill, the Committee stage of which we expect to begin in a fortnight's time.

Back to