§ Mr. Garrett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will require opticians to publish a list of prices of frames and lenses.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Charges to patients for NHS frames and lenses are already widely publicised. My right hon. Friend has no powers to require opticiams to publish the prices they charge for private frames and lenses.
Advertising by opticians is governed by rules made by the General Optical Council in accordance with the provisions of the Opticians Act 1958. The current rules permit opticians to display prices at their practice premises and many do so.
The General Optical Council has recently reviewed its rules on publicity. The Government are examining its proposals to see whether they represent an adequate response to the comments on this subject in the Office of Fair Trading report: "Opticians and Competition".