§ Mr. Yeo
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the level of inflation in the public sector. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I have been asked to reply
Inflation in the public sector—as defined by growth in the implied government consumption deflator—is currently close to its average over the past 5 years, and is significantly lower than its average from 1979 to mid-1997. Nevertheless the data need to be interpreted cautiously, because the non-marketed nature of public services and the difficulty of making appropriate adjustments for quality change complicate the measurement of prices and inflation in the public sector.