§ Mr. Dobbin
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact on employment of decisions taken by regulators on the prices charged to consumers by the regulated industries. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
Decisions on the form and level of price controls are matters for the sectoral regulators. In telecommunications, electricity, and gas, the independent industry regulators have statutory duties which govern the way in which they conduct their business. These are set out in the relevant legislation. Decisions taken by the regulated companies in response to proposals by the regulators are for the commercial judgment of the companies. If companies are not prepared to accept the regulator's proposals, they can reject them, and the regulator can then refer the proposals to the Competition Commission for a full review.