HC Deb 19 November 1957 vol 578 cc178-9
8. Mr. Collins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the total national income was represented by wages in the years 1948 and 1956, respectively.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Wages and salaries—which include the pay of many directly comparable to wage earners, e.g., clerical workers, as well as managers—together represented 65.2 per cent. of the national income in 1948 and 67.4 per cent. in 1956. For wages alone the proportions were 44.1 per cent. and 44.8 per cent. respectively.

Mr. Collins

Is the Chancellor aware that his figures reveal that the wage earners' share in the national cake was almost precisely the same in those two years? Is he further aware that there were more than 2 million extra workers in 1956, so that the individual worker's share was considerably less? Will he bear that in mind and bring it to the notice of his colleagues when considering all questions of productivity and wages?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will bear these things in mind, but I think it is idle to pretend that the increased weight of purchasing power from higher wages has not had a very important effect on the economy.