§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what is her estimate of the amount of concealed inflation in the economy induced by subsidies and price controls.
§ Mr. Maclennan
But for food subsidies, the RPI in December would have been about 1 per cent. and the Food Index 4 per cent. higher. It is very difficult to quantify the impact of price controls, but there is no doubt that the Price Commission continues to save the consumer significant sums. Food subsidies and price controls are essential elements of our total programme to bring down inflation as we are now successfully doing.