HC Deb 27 February 1945 vol 408 c1248W
Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the purchasing power in this country of the £ in 1900, in each decennial period since; and in 1945.

Sir J. Anderson

Estimates of changes in purchasing power should be based on retail prices over the whole field of personal expenditure, but, as I explained in my reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers) on 12th December, 1944, estimates of changes in such prices have been made only in respect of a few recent years. The estimates given below have been prepared on the basis of changes in the official cost-of-living index from 1914 onwards, supplemented by private estimates on a similar basis for the years before 1914. Taking the purchasing power of the £ in 1900 as 100, the corresponding figures for later years are approximately:

1910 95
1920 36
1930 58
1940 50
January, 1945 45
Calculated over the whole field of personal expenditure the figure for 1945 would probably be about five points lower than that given above.