HC Deb 08 April 1968 vol 762 cc884-5
56. Mr. Brooks

asked the Minister of Labour what estimate he has made of the number of those workers, who, apart from their extra earnings from working overtime in their regular jobs, would be classified by his Department as low-paid.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. E. Fernyhough)

No estimate can be given. One reason for this is that, as the National Board for Prices and Incomes have pointed out, it is not possible to lay down a figure in cash terms to distinguish low-paid workers from their fellows. The other is that the necessary statistical information is not at present available.

Mr. Brooks

Does not my hon. Friend think it about time that it was available? Does he not agree that the implication of the Ministry's approach to municipal busmen is that the men, by having to work a 56-hour week, disqualify themselves from generous treatment by the Prices and Incomes Board?

Mr. Fernyhough

For the information to become available it would be necessary to add considerably to staff. Hon. Members who ask for detailed information of this kind ought to be aware of that. As to the busmen, since this is now a matter of negotiation, I think I had better make no further comment.

57. Mr. Brooks

asked the Minister of Labour if he will undertake an inquiry to establish what proportion of those workers who are classified by his Department as low-paid have supplementary sources of income from part-time jobs undertaken outside their normal working hours.

Mr. Fernyhough

No, Sir.

Mr. Brooks

Would not my hon. Friend agree that this is a very relevant point in relation to that made in the earlier Question? If the busmen made up their 56 hours by window cleaning they would qualify for generous treatment by the P.I.B.

Mr. Fernyhough

My hon. Friend may not be aware, but the family expenses survey will this year for the first time make it possible to provide estimates of the earnings of individuals in different income groups from subsidiary occupations.

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