Britain 'lacks anti-inflation culture'

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Indy Politics
A SUSTAINED fight against inflation seemed to be beyond the capacity of any political party, Lord Desai, professor of economics and a Labour frontbench spokesman, observed last night as the House of Lords considered whether the Bank of England should have a bigger role in securing long-term price stability, writes Stephen Goodwin.

Britain lacked an anti-inflationary culture and it would not be easy to inculcate one, he said.

The Earl of Caithness, Minister of State for Transport, said Britain's experience, with inflation at 3 per cent, showed the right policies got inflation down whatever the institutional arrangements.

Initiating the debate, the former Coal Board chairman Lord Ezra, for the Liberal Democrats, said the time was right for the Bank to be given greater responsibility. 'It is essential that an effective institutional framework should be established to secure price stability in the long term, and above all to avoid the ebbs and flows that have been so damaging to the British economy.'

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