§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether 168W he will make a statement on the communication sent to him by the hon. Member for West Ham, North on 31st January, regarding action to be taken by the Government to reduce prices in the shops; and whether, in view of the information supplied to him he will discuss this matter with the CBI.
§ Sir G. Howe
To date about 300 price increases have been withdrawn as a result of action under the Counter-Inflation (Temporary Provisions) Act. Part III of the Counter-Inflation Bill proposes powers to ensure that prices and charges correctly reflect the tax changes associated with the introduction of the VAT. We are already in discussion with the CBI and others on this. In the meantime I shall continue to welcome price reductions in anticipation of tax changes; tax reductions by any firm have a competitive impact on other firms.