§ 6. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to establish a new cost-of-living index in the place of the old index, which was abandoned in 1947.
§ Mr. Isaacs
The substitution of a permanent index of retail prices to replace the present interim index which has been compiled since June, 1947, will involve as a first step the collection of a series of family budgets of expenditure. The matter is kept under constant review, and as soon as conditions are appropriate steps will be taken to institute a new family budget inquiry.
§ Mr. Osborne
Since it is two and a half years since the old index was discarded, is it not time that a new index was compiled, since so many millions are dependent upon a reliable index?
§ Mr. Isaacs
We recognise that, but on the other hand it must be borne in mind that we must take steps to hold a further inquiry into family budgets and that we cannot spare the manpower required for that yet.
§ Mr. Malcolm MacMillan
Would my right hon. Friend consider including vegetables at current prices in the index?
§ Mr. Joynson-Hicks
Will the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is not the slightest chance of opportunities being provided for having a family budget inquiry during the existence of the present Government?