HC Deb 01 May 1973 vol 855 cc970-1
6. Mr. Loveridge

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, in consultations on stage 3 of the counter-inflationary policy, he will seek to ensure that provision is made for accelerating progress towards the implementation of equal pay.

4. Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will consider referring problems that arise over implementation of equal pay to the Pay Board.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

The January White Paper on stage 2 of the counter-inflation programme re-emphasised the Government's commitment to secure implementation of the Equal Pay Act by 29th December 1975, as the Act requires, and this will be reflected in our proposals for stage 3. The Office of Manpower Economics reported in August 1972 on progress towards equal pay and the problems being encountered, and my right hon. Friend is currently considering what further arrangements should be made to keep the position under review.

Mr. Loveridge

I am glad to hear that. Is my hon. Friend aware, however, that in 1971 women's earnings as a percentage of men's average hourly earnings were, in the United Kingdom, only 59 per cent. while in France, Italy and West Germany they varied from 70 per cent. to 77 per cent? Does he agree that the sooner the British women can earn the same share as a Eurowoman, the better?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

I do not think I need comment on my hon. Friend's supplementary question except to agree with it.