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The Prices Act 1974

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The Prices Act 1974 List of acts
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Crown Copyright Acknowledged
CONTENTS

Prices Act 1974
1974 CHAPTER 24

 

An Act to authorise the payment of food subsidies; to confer on the Secretary of State power to regulate the price of food and certain other goods and on the Price Commission additional powers for preventing or restricting increases in prices and charges; to make provision for requiring prices to be indicated on or in relation to goods offered or exposed for sale by retail and for requiring information as to the range within which food and certain other goods are commonly being sold by retail within the United Kingdom to be displayed by retailers dealing in those goods; to confer power to abolish the Pay Board; and for purposes connected with those matters.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at Royal Assent.

1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Ss. 1, 6, 8(2), Sch. paras. 1, 2, 4 repealed by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1989 (c. 43), s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II

2 Power of Secretary of State to regulate price of food and certain other goods

(1)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)regulate the prices to be charged for the sale of such subsidised food or fresh food as may be specified in the order and for the sale by retail of such other food or of such other goods to which this section applies as may be so specified;

(b)require persons selling by retail food or other goods in relation to which an order under paragraph (a) above is in force to display such information with respect to the effect of the order as may be so specified [F1or to keep that information available in writing in accordance with the order under this paragraph and on request in accordance with the order to produce and permit inspection of the document containing the information;]

[F2(c)require persons selling, or who have after the coming into force of this paragraph sold, such food or other goods as are mentioned in paragraph (b) above to keep such records as may be specified in the order as being records which the Secretary of State considers are needed for the efficient enforcement of an order under paragraph (a) above.]

(2)In subsection (1) above—

“subsidised food” means food specified in or under subsection (2) of section 1 above, including bread and, if an order under paragraph (b) of that subsection describes the food to which it applies by reference to its use for the manufacture of any product, that product;

“fresh food” means food produced in the course of agriculture, horticulture or fishing which has not been incorporated in any processed product and to which no process has been applied except—

(a)cleaning, sterilising, breaking down of bulk supplies or packaging; and

(b)in the case of any carcasses or parts of carcasses of livestock or poultry or of any product of fishing, chilling, freezing, curing, cutting up or boning and, in the case only of bacon and ham, cooking.

(3)The goods, other than food, to which this section applies are articles which appear to the Secretary of State to be necessities normally the subject of recurrent expenditure by, and significantly affecting the cost of living for, persons with small incomes.

(4)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above—

(a)an order under paragraph (a) of that subsection may make provision whereby the price to be charged by a person is not to exceed his buying price as determined in accordance with the order by more than a margin so determined;

(b)an order under paragraph (b) of that subsection may make provision as to the place and manner in which any information is to be displayed;

(c)an order under [F3any] paragraph of that subsection may make different provision in relation to different circumstances and may contain such supplementary provisions as the Secretary of State thinks necessary or expedient.

(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4

(6)Before making an order under subsection (1)(a) [F5or (c)] above the Secretary of State shall consult, in such manner as appears to him to be appropriate having regard to the subject-matter and urgency of the order, with such organisations representative of interests substantially affected by the order as appear to him, having regard to those matters, to be appropriate.

(7)In determining whether and in what manner to exercise the powers conferred by subsection (1)(a) above the Secretary of State shall have regard to the circumstances of the food trade and the trade in other goods to which this section applies and to the effect of the exercise of those powers on the profitability of those trades.

(8)The power to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and, in the case of an order under subsection (1) above, includes power to vary or revoke a previous order; and—

(a)a statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (1) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament;

(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F6

(9)Nothing in this section applies to the sale of food for consumption on the premises where it is sold.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Words inserted by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)(a)

F2S. 2(1)(c) inserted by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)(b)

F3Word substituted by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)(b)

F4S. 2(5) repealed by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)(c)

F5Words inserted by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)(d)

F6S. 2(8)(b) repealed by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32). s. 2(1)(c)

3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 3 repealed by Price Commission Act 1977 (c. 33), Sch. 3

4 Price marking

[F1(1)The Secretary of State may by order make provision for securing—

(a)that prices are indicated on or in relation to goods which a person indicates are or may be for sale by retail, whether or not the goods are in existence when he does so;

(b)that charges are indicated for services which a person indicates are or may be provided, except services which he indicates are or may be provided only for the purposes of businesses carried on by other persons;

(c)that prices of such goods or charges for such services are not indicated in a manner which the Secretary of State considers inappropriate and that no part of a penny except one half-penny is specified in the amount of an indicated price or charge.]

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, an order under this section [F2may specify the kinds of goods or services to which and the circumstances in which the order applies and]—

(a)may make provision as to the manner in which any price is to be indicated;

(b)may require that the price [F2or charge] to be indicated on or in relation to any goods [F2or services] shall be, or shall include, a price [F2or charge] expressed by reference to such unit or units of measurement as may be specified in the order;

(c)may, in relation to goods [F2or services] subject to value added tax, make provision as to the circumstances in which the price [F2or charge] to be indicated may or may not be exclusive of the tax and as to the indication to be given of the tax included in, or payable in addition to, the price [F2or charge;]

(d)may make different provision in relation to different circumstances and may contain such supplementary provisions as the Secretary of State thinks necessary or expedient.

(3)Subsection (6) of section 2 above shall apply to an order under this section as it applies to an order under subsection (1)(a) of that section.

(4)The power to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and includes power to vary or revoke a previous order; and a statutory instrument containing an order under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5)In the application of this section to Northern Ireland for any reference to the Secretary of State there shall be substituted a reference to the Department of Commerce for Northern Ireland and any order made by the Department under this section shall be [F3a statutory rule for the purposes of the M1Statutory Rules Act (Northern Ireland) 1958 and be] subject to negative resolution within the meaning of section 41(6) of the M2Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 as if it were a statutory instrument within the meaning of that Act; and subsection (4) above shall not apply to any such order except in so far as that subsection confers a power to vary or revoke a previous order.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 4(1) substituted by Price Commission Act 1977 (c. 33), s. 16(1)

F2Words inserted by Price Commission Act 1977 (c. 33), s. 16(2)(a)

F3Words inserted by Price Commission Act 1977 (c. 33), s. 16(3)

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1S. 4: s. 4 power exercised by S.I. 1991/206.

S. 4: s. 4 power exercised by S.I. 1991/1382

S. 4: s. 4 power exercised by S.I.1991/1690

S. 4: for exercises of this power see Index to Government Orders.

Marginal Citations

M11958 c.18 (N.I.)

M21954 c. 33 (N.I.)

5 Price range notices

(1)The Secretary of State may by order make provision for requiring persons selling by retail such goods to which this section applies as may be specified in the order to display such information as may be so specified with respect to the range of prices within which it appears to the Secretary of State that such goods are being commonly sold by retail in the United Kingdom, or in a particular part thereof, at a particular date or during a particular period.

(2)The goods to which this section applies are food and any such goods as are mentioned in section 2(3) above.

(3)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, an order under this section—

(a)may make provision as to the place and manner in which any information is to be displayed;

(b)may make different provision in2 relation to different circumstances and may contain such supplementary provisions as the Secretary of State thinks necessary or expedient.

(4)Subsection (6) of section 2 above shall apply to an order under this section as it applies to an order under subsection (1)(a) of that section except that consultation shall not be required as to the prices to be included in any order as constituting a range of prices applicable to goods of any description.

(5)The power to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and includes power to vary or revoke a previous order; and a statutory instrument containing an order under this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 1, 6, 8(2), Sch. paras. 1, 2, 4 repealed by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1989 (c. 43), s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II

7 Enforcement

The Schedule to this Act shall have effect for preventing abuse in connection with payments under section 1 above and for the enforcement of orders under sections 2, 4 and 5 above.

8 Financial provisions

(1)There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament—

(a)the expenses of any government department in respect of the administration of this Act;

(b)any increase attributable to this Act in the sums so payable under any other Act.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 1, 6, 8(2), Sch. paras. 1, 2, 4 repealed by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1989 (c. 43), s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II

9 Short title and interpretation

(1)This Act may be cited as the Prices Act 1974.

(2)In this Act “food” means food and drink for human consumption.

(3)In this Act any reference to any enactment is a reference to that enactment as amended by or under any subsequent enactment.

(4)No provision of this Act requiring consultation by the Secretary of State for any purpose shall be construed as requiring further consultation where the Secretary of State is satisfied that there has been sufficient consultation for that purpose before the passing of this Act.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 9(4) amended by Prices Act 1975 (c. 32), s. 2(1)

 
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