HC Deb 15 March 1955 vol 538 cc1102-3
14. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Labour why it is necessary to have two official indices for measuring changes in retail prices.

Mr. Watkinson

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 9th December, 1954, in answer to a Question by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell).

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these indices are contradictory, misleading and out-of-date and that the Government choose the more favourable one to calculate the falling value of the £? In those circumstances, should we not scrap both of them as quickly as possible and produce an index in which ordinary folk may have real confidence?

Mr. Watkinson

I do not think the hon. and gallant Member has had in mind the fact that the T.U.C. in its last Report said that the Interim Index of Retail Prices is a very accurate measure of the cost of living.