HC Deb 12 June 1947 vol 438 cc1335-6
51. Mr. Hardy

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has yet fixed the date for the introduction of the new Interim Index of Retail Prices as recommended by the Cost-of-Living Advisory Committee.

Mr. Isaacs

The Government have decided, in accordance with the recommendation of the Cost-of-Living Advisory Committee, to introduce the new Interim Index of Retail Prices forthwith. The Technical Committee of this Advisory Committee which has been working out the detailed plans for utilising the information obtained by the 1937–38 Budgets Inquiry has recommended that prices for the new Index should be collected on the Tuesday nearest the 15th of each month instead of the 1st of each month, as has been the practice with the existing Index. Accordingly, 17th June will be the base date of the new Index, which will then start at 100. On that day, also, prices will be collected for the last time for the purpose of the existing Cost-of-Living Index. On 15th July, and monthly thereafter, prices will be collected for the new Index only. The results of each calculation will be announced as soon as known and published in the next following issue of the "Gazette." Thus the calculation as at 15th July should be known about mid-August, and published in the August issue of the "Gazette." This will mean that any industries whose wage agreements contain provisions for adjustment according to movement of the existing Cost-of-Living Index will have something over two months in which to consider the question of amending those provisions. I would add that the Technical Committee to which I have referred will be issuing a final comprehensive report at an early date. In the meantime, for the information of all those interested, a leaflet has been prepared explaining, as simply as possible, the main difference between the new Interim Index of Retail Prices and the old Cost-of-Living Index. Copies are now available to Members in the Vote Office.