HC Deb 28 February 1957 vol 565 cc1375-6
16. Mr. G. Darling

asked the Minister of Labour when he intends to publish the 1953 family budget survey.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Marquand) on 29th January.

Mr. Darling

Am I right in assuming that the reply was that it will not be published for some time? If so, is it not rather awkward for people who want to make use of these figures in social services and in research that the figures should be held up for so long? They will soon be out-of-date. Is it not the case that these figures would be useful in checking the utility of the cost-of-living index?

Mr. Macleod

The time stated by my hon. Friend was the middle of the year. It is true that this matter has taken longer than was expected, but it is a matter of importance. As to the figures not being up-to-date, there is a continuing check on them so that, although they are based on 1953, they will still be of value. In so far as they affect those people who live on very small incomes, the basic information was made available to the National Assistance Board for its consideration, I think in May last year.