ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prices and Incomes Board

In April 1965 the National Board for Prices and Incomes was set up, with Aubrey Jones, an ex-Conservative MP and Chairman of Staveley Industries Ltd, in the Chair.Since then the Board has published 18 reports on a variety of industries and problems, together with a general report summing up its own view of its work from inauguration to the beginning of the current freeze. The Board's functions and its thinking are now quite clearly defined. In essence, it is an instrument for change in the longer term, as the Board insisted in the opening paragraphs of its first report (Road Haulage Charges). The central problem is that of inflation, and the Government's function is to deal with the demand side, while the Board will lay stress on the reform of 'old habits, inherited attitudes and institutional arrangements'.

In April 1965 the National Board for Prices and Incomes was set up, with Aubrey Jones, an ex-Conservative MP and Chairman of Staveley Industries Ltd, in the Chair.Since then the Board has published 18 reports on a variety of industries and problems, together with a general report summing up its own view of its work from inauguration to the beginning of the current freeze. The Board's functions and its thinking are now quite clearly defined. In essence, it is an instrument for change in the longer term, as the Board insisted in the opening paragraphs of its first report (Road Haulage Charges). The central problem is that of inflation, and the Government's function is to deal with the demand side, while the Board will lay stress on the reform of 'old habits, inherited attitudes and institutional arrangements'.

 Throughout the 18 reports to date there are frequent references to the criteria for price and wage increases laid down in the Government's White Paper on Prices and Incomes, and these criteria have been taken as the frame of reference within which all discussion is carried out. The framework of assumptions that lay behind Labour's planning rhetoric before and after the .1964 election has been accepted: Inflation la Hie Tool cause of Britain's economic difficulties; a slowing of the inflationary spiral is the basic clue to a higher rate of economic growth. In other words, the larger institutional framework (sterling area, foreign policy, military commitments, etc) is accepted as given. Within this general framework — about whose logic there is room for doubt among academic economists like A R Conan as well as among the Government's more polemical critics —the specific conclusions fit with neat precision.

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