HC Deb 17 November 1976 vol 919 cc630-1W
Mr. Ogden

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what action he is taking to try to ensure that a minority of genuine manufacturers, producers, wholesalers and retailers, do not overcharged for goods and services which will be in high demand during December 1976.

Mr. Maclennan

The Price Code limits the price increases of manufacturing and service firms by reference to cost increases, and controls margins at all stages of distribution. The Price Commission examines price increases and profit margins of large companies, to ensure that the code is being observed. The Commission also has 15 regional offices—addresses and telephone numbers are given in the Commission's quarterly reports—which can investigate complaints about the prices charged by smaller firms. Local price comparison surveys, which my Department finances, give useful information to the consumer on many basic purchases.