HC Deb 23 February 1978 vol 944 cc807-8W
Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what is the role of the Price Commission in ensuring that productivity schemes are genuinely self-financing and do not result in higher costs or prices.

Mr. Hattersley

Arrangements have been made for the Price Commission to receive information of any productivity scheme that comes to the Department of Employment's notice. Decisions whether or not to investigate particular prices or margins, and what recommendations to make after an investigation, are for the Price Commission to take independently. But I have consulted the Chairman of the Price Commission, who has informed me that the Commission regards productivity schemes, and the extent to which they are genuinely self-financing, as one of the factors which it takes into account in appropriate cases in deciding both whether to investigate and in making recommendations following an investigation. It regards this matter as falling within the criteria in Section 2 of the Price Commission Act.

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