Counter-Inflation Act 1973

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1973 c. 9


Counter - Inflation Act 1973

1973 CHAPTER 9

An Act to establish a Price Commission and a Pay Board; to authorise the formulation of the principles to be applied by those bodies; to afford powers of control over prices, pay, dividends and rents; to provide for the furnishing of information about rates; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I The Agencies

Part I

The Agencies

S-1 Establishment of two Agencies: the Price Commission and the Pay Board.

1 Establishment of two Agencies: the Price Commission and the Pay Board.

(1) There shall be established two Agencies to be called respectively the Price Commission and the Pay Board.

(2) Each Agency shall, subject to subsection (5) below, consist of not less than five and not more than twelve members appointed by the Secretary of State and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (acting jointly), in the case of the Price Commission and by the Secretary of State, in the case of the Pay Board.

(3) Her Majesty may, by Order in Council, provide for the amalgamation of the Price Commission and the Pay Board into a single Agency, to be known by such name as may be specified in the Order.

(4) An Order in Council under subsection (3) above—

(a ) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament;

(b ) may contain supplemental and incidental provisions; and

(c ) may make consequential amendments in any enactment, including this Act.

(5) The Secretary of State may, by an order contained in a statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament—

(a ) direct that the minimum or maximum number of members of each Agency shall be a number greater or less than that specified in subsection (2) above;

(b ) vary or revoke any previous order made by virtue of this subsection;

and an order made by virtue of this subsection may provide for the composition of the two Agencies to differ.

(6) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect in relation to the advisory role of the Agencies and incidental matters relating to each of the Agencies, their members, officers, servants and proceedings.

S-2 Code for guidance of Agencies.

2 Code for guidance of Agencies.

(1) The Treasury shall prepare a code for the purposes of this Act, and it shall be the duty of the Agencies to have regard to that code in performing their functions under this Act.

The Treasury shall from time to time make such changes in the code as appear to them to be required.

(2) The code may include practical guidance for those concerned in decisions on levels of prices and pay.

(3) The code, and any change in the code, shall be contained in an order made by statutory instrument, and may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order so made.

(4) Before making an order under this section the Treasury shall consult—

(a ) such representatives of consumers, persons experienced in the supply of goods or services, employers and employees and other persons as they think appropriate, and

(b ) except in the case of the first order made under this section, the Agencies.

(5) An order made under this section shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of one month beginning with the date on which it was made unless, before the expiration of that period of one month, the order has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

In reckoning the said period of one month no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

(6) An order under this section may provide for different parts of the code to come into force on different dates.

II Prices, Pay, Dividends and Rents

Part II

Prices, Pay, Dividends and Rents

S-3 Commencement of Part II.

3 Commencement of Part II.

(1) This Part of this Act shall come into force on the date on which the first order under section 2 of this Act is made.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this section, the period for which section 2 of the Counter-Inflation (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972 has effect in accordance with section 1 of that Act shall terminate on the date when this Part of this Act first comes into force.

(3) No order or notice under section 6 of this Act shall apply where the relevant transaction (as defined by the order or notice) is effected before 29th April 1973, and for the purposes of subsection (1) of the said section 2 (prices and charges) and of the other provisions of the said section 2 as they relate to subsection (1), the period for which section 2 has effect shall terminate on 29th April 1973.

(4) No order under section 11 of this Act shall apply to increases of rent (as defined in the order) taking place before 29th April 1973, or to new lettings (as so defined) taking place before that date, and for the purposes of subsection (4) of the said section 2 (rents) the period for which the said section 2 has effect shall terminate on 29th April 1973.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be taken as extending the period for which the said section 2 would have effect apart from this section.

S-4 Duration and reactivation of Part II.

4 Duration and reactivation of Part II.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, this Part of this Act shall cease to have effect at the expiration of a period of three years beginning with the date on which it first comes into force.

(2) The period for which this Part of this Act is in force may at any time be terminated by Her Majesty by Order in Council.

(3) If an Order is made under subsection (2) above, Her Majesty may by Order in Council again bring this Part of this Act into force for a period ending not later than 31st March 1976.

(4) An Order under subsection (3) above shall not be made unless a draft of the Order has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

Prices and pay

Prices and pay

S-5 Notification of price and pay increases, and approvals and consents.

5 Notification of price and pay increases, and approvals and consents.

(1) The Minister may, in such cases as appear to him appropriate, by order make provision to ensure that the Agencies receive notice of increases in any prices, charges or remuneration in time to consider whether the increases conform with the relevant provisions of the code, and whether the Agencies should exercise the powers conferred by the following provisions of this Act in order to prevent those increases.

(2) The order may provide that, until the end of the period given for consideration of the proposed increase by the Agency, any implementation of the increase constitutes a contravention of the order.

(3) The length of notice required by an order under this section shall not exceed eight weeks.

(4) Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect as respects—

(a ) procedures for obtaining the Agencies' approval for increases, and

(b ) procedures for giving consents overriding the Agencies' orders and notices about prices, charges and remuneration.

(5) An order under this section or under the said Schedule 2 may be made to come into force before the time when this Part of this Act is in force, and may require notices to be given before that time.

(6) An order under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-6 Powers of Price Commission.

6 Powers of Price Commission.

(1) The Price Commission shall exercise the powers conferred by this section in such ways as appear to them appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of the code which concern prices and charges are implemented.

(2) For the said purpose the Price Commission may restrict any prices or charges for the sale of goods or the performance of services in the course of business, where the relevant transaction is effected at a time when this Part of this Act is in force.

(3) The powers conferred by subsection (2) above shall be exercisable by order, or by notice given to the person, or each of the persons, selling the goods or performing the services subject to the restriction.

(4) Before making or giving an order or notice under this section (other than one which only removes or lessens a restriction), the Price Commission shall give 14 days notice to the persons selling the goods or performing the services which would be subject to the restriction, and shall afford to those persons an opportunity of making written representations to the Price Commission.

(5) If, in the case of an order under this section, it appears to the Price Commission to be impracticable to give notice under subsection (4) above to all the persons selling the goods or performing the services, they may instead publish 14 days notice of their intention to make the order in the Gazette and in such other ways as may be prescribed, and shall afford to all those persons an opportunity of making written representations to the Price Commission.

(6) Where an order or notice under this section is contravened, the liability for the contravention attaches to the person selling the goods or performing the services.

(7) This section has effect subject to section 3(3) of this Act.

S-7 Powers of Pay Board.

7 Powers of Pay Board.

(1) The Pay Board shall exercise the powers conferred by this section in such ways as appear to them appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of the code which concern remuneration are implemented.

(2) For the said purpose the Pay Board may...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT