§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he will cause an investigation to be made to ascertain how, and why, despite a fall in inflation to 9.9 per cent., 270 food prices, including baby foods, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cakes, cheese, custard, honey and lard rose in price bringing the total food price rises since 1st January 1978 to 2,232; and when he expects the fall in the inflationary spiral to 9.9 per cent. reflected in a reduction in the retail prices which the consumer has to pay.807W
§ Mr. Maclennan
For the reasons set out in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend on 20th January, my right hon. Friend does not propose to direct the Price Commission to examine this question. When the retail price index for January is showing a rate of increase over the previous year of 9.9 per cent., it is only to be expected that there will be increases in the price of individual products. The number and size of such increases in future will depend on our success in reducing further the rate of inflation.