Despite Government moves to restrain excess spending, the annual Christmas shopping fever has again overtaken Britons on the eve of entry into the European Economic Community.
SV Oxford Street & store decorations (2 shots)
Child looks up from pram as shoppers pass
SV PAN Decorations to window shoppers
TV PAN People in store
SV People buying liquor
SV & CU Children watch mechanical toys (6 shots)
CU & SV Santa Claus talking with child
CU Money handed to cash register operator (4 shots)
TV ZOOM OUT People in store
SV Shoppers seated in Oxford street
Initials BB/0140 PK/MR/BB/0230
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Background: Despite Government moves to restrain excess spending, the annual Christmas shopping fever has again overtaken Britons on the eve of entry into the European Economic Community.
Britain is due to enter the Common Market on January 1, and in the midst of claims and disclaims that prices will rise substantially, the British people are making the most of their last "Market-free" Christmas.
Shope are crammed with Christmas fare--from expensive presents to the ever-popular wide range of toys for children.
Cash registers are clicking up the pounds and pence as the Government's current 90-day freeze on prices appears to be having a varying effect on the cost of Christmas to most people.
While prices of some foods continue to rise, the Government points out that the freeze has had a restraining influence on at least half of the housewife's budget. On the cost fresh food, which is subject to seasonal conditions, it admits increases are inevitable.
Latest in the Government's moves to reduce spending is a cut-back in bank lending, announced on Thursday (21 December). Bank deposits with the Bank of England have been increased by two per cent, removing about GBP440 million sterling from public borrowing.
But if Britons are being discouraged from overspending this Christmas, their E.E.C. partners-to-be are enjoying their own special kind of build-up to the festive season. Great emphasis is placed on wining and dining, with seasonal fairs the order of the day.
With Britain, Ireland and Denmark joining the party along with their own traditions and specialities, Christmas for Britons as "new Europeans" should become an interesting experience.
SYNOPSIS: Oxford street, in the heart of London, and Christmas makes its presence felt with festive decorations brightening store windows. It's the last Christmas for Britons before they join the European Economic Community on January the first. And although the Government has done its best to restrain excess spending in line with its current prices and wages "freeze", Britons are making the most of the occasion.
Common Market entry has brought claims and disclaims of substantial price rises to come. But experts insist many items will be reduced, even though others may rise. Meanwhile, prices of some foods continue to go up amid Government statements that its ninety-day freeze has had a restraining influence on at least half of the housewife's budget. It admits rises are inevitable with fresh food subject to seasonal conditions. In the shops, shelves are crammed with Christmas fare, from expensive presents to children's toys. For the children, Christmas is Santa Claus....
Cash registers are clicking up the pounds and pence despite a Government order increasing bank deposits with the Bank of England by two per cent... taking four-hundred-and-forty million pounds away from public spending.
But if Britons are being discouraged from overspending, their E.E.C. partners-to-be are enjoying their own traditional celebrations. With Britain, Ireland and Denmark joining the party, future Christmases should be an interesting experience.