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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.

[9th July 1974]

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Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at Royal Assent.

1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F22 Power of Secretary of State to regulate price of food and certain other goods.E+W+S+N.I.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

4 Price marking.E+W+S+N.I.

[F4(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 [F5may 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 [F5or charge] to be indicated on or in relation to any goods [F5or services] shall be, or shall include, a price [F5or charge] expressed by reference to such unit or units of measurement as may be specified in the order;

(c)may, in relation to goods [F5or services] subject to value added tax, make provision as to the circumstances in which the price [F5or 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 [F5or 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.

[F6(3)Before making an order under this section 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.]

(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 [F7a 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.

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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.

Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

F85 Price range notices.E+W+S+N.I.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F9E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

7 Enforcement.E+W+S+N.I.

The Schedule to this Act shall have effect F10... for the enforcement of orders under sections F10... 4 F10... above.

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Amendments (Textual)

F10Words in s. 7 repealed (22.7.2004) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2004 (c. 14), Sch. 1 Pt. 16 Group 2

8 Financial provisions.E+W+S+N.I.

(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). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11

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Amendments (Textual)

9 Short title and interpretation.E+W+S+N.I.

(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.

F12(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

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

Section 7.

SCHEDULE E+W+S+N.I. Enforcement

Food subsidiesE+W+S+N.I.

1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F13E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F14E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F153. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F15Sch. para. 3 omitted (1.10.2015) by virtue of Consumer Rights Act 2015 (c. 15), s. 100(5), Sch. 6 para. 11(2); S.I. 2015/1630, art. 3(i) (with art. 8)

4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

Price regulation, price marking and price range noticesE+W+S+N.I.

5(1)Any person who contravenes an order under section F17... 4 F17... of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable—E+W+S+N.I.

(a)on conviction on indictment, to a fine;

(b)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £400.

F18(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Section 23 of the M3Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (offences due to fault of other person) and section 24(1) and (2) of that Act (defence of mistake, accident, etc.) shall have effect in relation to an offence in respect of an order under section 4 of this Act as they have effect in relation to an offence under that Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

6It shall be the duty of every local weights and measures authority to enforce within their area any such order as is mentioned in paragraph 5(1) above.E+W+S+N.I.

F197. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

8(1)Proceedings for an offence under paragraph 5 above shall not be instituted except by or on behalf of a local weights and measures authority.E+W+S+N.I.

(2)Proceedings for any such offence shall not be instituted—

(a)unless there has been served on the person charged a notice in writing of the date and nature of the offence alleged, being (except where he is a street trader) a notice served before the expiration of the period of thirty days beginning with that date; or

(b)after the expiration of the period of three months beginning with that date.

(3)Such a notice as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)(a) above may be served on any person either by serving it on him personally or by sending it to him by post at his usual or last known residence or place of business in the United Kingdom or, in the case of a company, at the company’s registered office.

(4)Sub-paragraph (1) above does not apply to Scotland.

F209. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2110. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2211. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

Restriction on disclosure of informationE+W+S+N.I.

F2312. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

Offences by bodies corporateE+W+S+N.I.

13Where an offence under this Schedule committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.E+W+S+N.I.

Northern IrelandE+W+S+N.I.

14(1)In the application of this Schedule to Northern Ireland for any reference to a local weights and measures authority there shall be substituted a reference to the Department of Commerce for Northern Ireland F24....E+W+S+N.I.

(2)F25... in paragraph 12(2)(b) above references to a Minister of the Crown include references to a Northern Ireland department and the head of a Northern Ireland department.

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Amendments (Textual)

F25Words in Sch. para. 14(2) repealed (22.7.2004) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2004 (c. 14), Sch. 1 Pt. 16 Group 2

[F2615For the investigatory powers available to a local weights and measures authority or the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland for the purposes of the duty in paragraph 6, see Schedule 5 to the Consumer Rights Act 2015.]E+W+S+N.I.

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Amendments (Textual)

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