HC Deb 26 January 1956 vol 548 c355
36. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the value of £1 now in purchasing power as compared with 20s. purchasing power in October, 1951.

Sir E. Boyle

Taking the internal purchasing power of the £ as 20 shillings in October, 1951, it is estimated that the corresponding figure for December, 1955, was 17s. 7d. This estimate is based on the consumer price index between 1951 and 1954, and the Interim Index of Retail Prices thereafter.

Mr. Jeger

Does the hon. Gentleman realise in what a difficult position many of us who are asked to address National Savings rallies are placed, when since 1951, under a Conservative Administration, any saver would have lost 2s. 5d. in every £ he saved?

Sir E. Boyle

The fact still remains that nothing could do more to halt the progress of inflation than an increase in private savings.

Mr. Callaghan

Does not the Economic Secretary think that he owes the country an apology for those figures?

Captain Pilkington

But is there not some degree of satisfaction in the fact that the value of the £ has fallen very much less under a Conservative Government than it did under a Socialist Government?