§ 33. Mr. John Page
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what has been the rise in the Retail Price Index during the last three months; what this represents in money value; and if he will estimate the effect of an equivalent rise on the purchasing power of the £ sterling over five years.
§ Mr. Bryan
The rise in the General Index of Retail Prices between 17th February, 1970, and 19th May, 1970, was 2.4 per cent. which is equivalent to about sixpence in the £.
If this rate of increase continued over a period of five years, the purchasing power of the £ sterling, as measured by the General Index of Retail Prices, would fall by about 7s. 6d.
§ Mr. Bryan
This subject was debated at length and in depth during the recent General. Election which resulted in a resounding victory for the Government. It is also an advertisement for the fact that competition is far more effective than 1718 any step taken by the Labour Government to curb prices.
§ Mr. Dick Douglas
The hon. Gentleman has made a projection of price increases. What steps has his Ministry in mind to ensure that that projection does not become a reality?