HC Deb 20 June 1966 vol 730 cc31-2
54. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Labour how many wage and salary negotiations have been concluded during the past 12 months at or below an increase of 3½ per cent.; how many similar negotiations have been concluded for increases above 3½ per cent.; and what are the numbers of employees involved, respectively.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

I have knowledge of 319 settlements for pay increases and hours reductions covering 10.8 million workers in the last 12 months. Of these 50 settlements have been for 1.2 million salaried workers, and 269 for 9.6 million wage earners.

It is not possible to give a precise answer to the hon. Gentleman's Question. These settlements are complicated and involve different increases for different classes of workers, which may be related, for example, to skills, geographical areas and, in the case of salaries, to variations in and between scales.

Mr. Biffen

If the hon. Lady cannot give an answer of the nature requested in the Question, does not it show the whole futility of the prices and incomes policy?

Mrs. Williams

The hon. Gentleman may have forgotten that on 16th May an Answer was given to his hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) in which the specific percentage figure was given for salary increases for the year ending October, 1965, and the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that it is too soon to give a similar figure for the current year.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is my hon. Friend aware that landlords' incomes from farmers' rents have increased by 7 per cent? Are these increases included in these rises?

Mrs. Williams

I appreciate my hon. Friend's interest, but he will recognise that this is not fully a question which I can answer at the present time since it falls within the responsibility of another Minister, but this is the kind of thing that we have in mind.