§ Sir W. Smithers
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the cost of living has risen since 18th September, 1949, expressed in pence in the pound; what are the figures calculated over the whole field of public expenditure; and what are the main items in which a change has taken place.
§ Sir S. Cripps
There has been no change in the interim index of retail prices since 18th September. There have, however, been counterbalancing changes in several groups of commodities within the index as a whole. The main items for which retail prices have changed since 18th September are bread, the maximum permitted price for which was increased by the equivalent of 1d. per 1¾ lb. loaf on 25th September; flour, the maximum permitted price for which was increased by ½ d. per lb. on 25th September; and petrol and lamp oil for which higher prices became chargeable from 25th October. These increases have been offset by reductions of varying amounts, mainly in the retail prices of some kinds of clothing which have operated since 26th September.