HC Deb 11 December 1946 vol 431 cc230-1W
91. Mr. Harold Davies

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of his reply to the hon. Member for Leek on 3rd July that the cost of living in Fiji for the quarter ended 31st March, 1946, in country districts and in Suva, had risen by 87 per cent. and 69 per cent, respectively, above that on August, 1939, whereas the highest bonus granted to civil servants was 65 per cent., if the Government of Fiji will remedy this position by an adequate bonus system and by establishing a cost-of-living index to cover other groups besides Indian labourers.

Mr. Creech Jones

I am advised that the increase in cost of living for the higher income groups is substantially less than the figures of 87 per cent. and 69 per cent., which refer only to Indian workmen earning less than 50s. a week. Since there could be no discrimination in wage rates as between one race and another for the same job, an index which took into account the rise in cost of living of other sections of the community would react unfavourably on Indian workers, whose living costs have risen more sharply than those of other workers, owing to a greater rise in the cost of their customary food supplies. The cost of living allowances of civil servants have recently been consolidated in revised scales of salary.

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