Against Inflation: Speeches in the Second Chamber 1965–1977 by Lord Robbins

By Lord Robbins

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Additional info for Against Inflation: Speeches in the Second Chamber 1965–1977

Example text

I suggest that something ought to be done about this; and in my judgment it would be a good thing if it were laid down that rates should be such that no man should be penalised by the loss of more than, let us say, 50 per cent of his income. But all such changes of general policy need time and prudence. Meanwhile, the present situation, if not immediately catastrophic, is sufficiently disturbing. In recent months the income inflation in this country has been at the rate of something in the neighbourhood of 1o per cent, against a growth rate which just recently has not been very much above zero.

Let there be no mistake about what is happening and what has happened. We all know about the bargains in the labour market, and I do not want to discuss that further. But how few realise that, in the quarter before the election, the money supply was increasing, not at the target rate set by the Chancellor, but at the rate of 16 per cent per annum. Let me be clear, my Lords: I am ac<;using nobody. Mr Jenkins is a very honourable man. I do not believe that he deliberately threw the reins on the horse's neck.

I mean rather that there are, in my judgment, large fields of expenditure where we need rethinking of fundamental policiesareas ofoutlay where more selective expenditure would allow at once more to be given to the really poor but less given to others not in need. Much more immediate is concern for the present volume of spending. In spite of the Budget, and in spite of some reduction in sales in some shops, it seems to me that the disposition to spend is still too high for our present state of convalescence.

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