§ 64. Mr. Lewis
asked the Minister of Labour, if he will state the reasons for the recent increase in the cost-of-living index figure; by what percentage this figure has risen since October, 1951; and how much of this increase was due to the Government's action in removing food subsidies, reducing housing subsidies, increasing Purchase Tax and increasing the Bank Rate.
§ Mr. Carr
The reasons for the rise in the index of retail prices between mid-March and mid-April have been published in the May issue of the Ministry of Labour Gazette. The index has risen by approximately 22 per cent. since mid-October, 1951. I cannot estimate what would have been the current prices of the various commodities and services included in the index had there been no changes in subsidies, Purchase Tax and Bank Rate during this period.