HC Deb 05 May 1938 vol 335 c1021
45. Mr. McEntee

asked the Minister of Health what is the percentage increase in building material prices, as compared with 1914, for each of the last three years; and the increase of wages percentage for the same period?

Sir K. Wood

The estimated percentage rises in the prices of materials used in the construction of a working-class house as compared with 1914 for the years ended March, 1936, 1937 and 1938 are, 50, 58 and 68 respectively. The estimated percentage rises in the cost of labour used in working-class houses over the same periods are 85, 91 and 95 respectively.

Mr. McEntee

In view of the great concern there is in local authorities, will the right hon. Gentleman take some step to prevent the continued great increase in the cost of materials?

Sir K. Wood

I am glad to think that prices are steadying now.

Mr. A. Reed

Is it not a fact that in the cost of materials used in the building of houses 80 to 85 per cent. are labour costs, which bears out the figures of the actual labour costs on a house?

Mr. Gallacher

Did not the Secretary of State for Scotland tell us that £70 was a floating factor in the cost of a house? Cannot the right hon. Gentleman get rid of this and save that £70?