HC Deb 02 May 1968 vol 763 cc240-1W
Mr. Speed

asked the Minister of Labour how many prices have been reduced as a result of intervention by Government Departments following advance notification of intention to raise prices under the early warning arrangements since they were introduced, and of recommendations made by the National Board for Prices and Incomes; and to what goods these prices relate.

Mr. Hattersley

The primary object of the early warning arrangements is to enable the Government to scrutinise proposed increases in prices under the criteria, including reference of proposals to the National Board for Prices and Incomes. The ensuing discussions between Government Departments and the firms concerned have led to modification or deferment of increases in an appreciable number of cases.

As information supplied under the early warning arrangements is strictly confidential I am unable to give details of these cases, but following recommendations in the published reports of the National Board for Prices and Incomes prices have been reduced or increases deferred or modified in the case of the following goods and services:

  • Soap and detergents.
  • Bread.
  • Road Haulage.
  • Gas.
  • Laundry and dry cleaning.
  • Beer.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Compound fertilisers.
  • Cement.
  • Newspapers.
  • Bulk supply of electricity.
  • Secondary batteries.

The Government are free to refer to the N.B.P.I. cases in which reduction of existing prices may be appropriate under the criteria for price reductions and we are seeking power to require reductions where the Board recommend this after examination of references.