HC Deb 06 May 1924 vol 173 cc220-1
58. Mr. PENNY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state approximately the number of points by which the cost of living index figure will be reduced by the total reductions of taxation proposed by him; and what sum the Exchequer will save on the aggregate bonus paid to civil servants and other Government employés who receive the bonus?


It is estimated that a reduction in the retail prices of the commodities affected, fully equivalent to the reductions in duties, would, if the prices of other commodities remained unchanged, entail a reduction in the Ministry of Labour cost of living figure by between 3 and 3½ points. But I do not think that any useful estimate can be made at this stage of the resulting effect upon the revision of the Civil Service cost of living bonus in September next.

63. Lieut.-Colonel POWNALL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the approximate saving in the Civil Ser- vice Estimates for 1924–25 for every five points of reduction in the cost of living index figure?


As the answer is rather a long one, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Arising out of that answer, is it not a fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his statement on Thursday night, said that no provision was necessary for housing, as he did not anticipate that any houses would be built this year?


I am afraid that the supplementary question does not arise out of the statement I made, as I propose to circulate the answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

A reduction of five points in the cost of living index figure would in a full year effect a net saving of approximately £1,250,000 in the Civil Service and Revenue Departments Estimates in respect of cost of living bonus and salaries of temporary staff. As regards the year 1924–25, the rate of bonus for the period up to 31st August next is based on the average cost of living in the six months ended 1st March last, and would not therefore be immediately affected by a reduction now in the cost of living. A reduction of five points in the rate of bonus payable after August would produce a saving amounting to approximately £730,000 on the Civil Service and Revenue Departments Estimates.