HC Deb 10 November 1977 vol 938 cc845-6
21. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the growth of gross domestic product and the trend of net disposable incomes since he became responsible for economic management.

Mr. Joel Barnett

No, sir. The rise in the price of oil and the world recession have substantially depressed our real national and personal disposable incomes. However, we have now established a basis for rising living standards.

Mr. Tebbit

Is it not clear that the whole of the Cabinet is united in its conviction that the standard of living of the ordinary man in the United Kingdom has fallen, and fallen substantially, since the last General Election?

Mr. Barnett

The hon. Gentleman makes all kinds of statements. I shall have to think about the one he has just made, because if the hon. Gentleman cares to look at such items as the social wage, which has risen considerably—[Hon. Members: "Oh. "] Certainly it has. I am not sure whether Conservative Members would have preferred it to decline. The standard of living of large numbers of our people depends on the social wage.