HC Deb 12 March 1936 vol 309 cc2289-90
16. Mr. WHITE

asked the Minister of Labour whether the cost-of-living index is still based on the information on family budgets collected by the Board of Trade in 1904 and the Sumner Committee in 1918; and whether he is collecting information with a view to establishing an index more in accord with present day conditions?

Lieut. - Colonel MUIRHEAD

The weighting system used in combining the percentage changes in the prices of the individual items included in the cost-of-living index into a general average is based partly on particulars derived from the family budgets collected in 1904, supplemented by such other data as were available in 1914, when the index numbers were first instituted. The information collected by the Sumner Committee in 1918 does not form part of the basis of the calculations. No similar information is at present being collected by my Department, but the question whether a new inquiry should be made is at present under consideration.


Will my hon. and gallant Friend give the most serious consideration to a change in the basis, having regard to the fact that at least 10 years ago one of his predecessors said they would do it as soon as possible?

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