HC Deb 10 April 1962 vol 657 cc93-4W
4. Mr. McKay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the cost of living rose from 1938 to May, 1961, by 191 per cent.; what that percentage is now; and to what extent weekly earnings of £15 6s. 10d. are above the purchasing power of 1938 earnings of £3 9s. per week, after deduction of insurance contributions, including contributions for graduated pensions, and Income Tax have been allowed for in both cases.

Sir E. Boyle

On the basis of the consumers' price index the rise in prices between 1938 and February 1962, was 199 per cent. Allowing for this, the purchasing power of weekly earnings of £15 6s. 10d. in February, 1962, was about 28 per cent. higher than that of £3 9s. 0d. par week in 1938, after deducting insurance contributions and Income Tax. This figure applies to a married man without children or other dependants; for taxpayers with different family circumstances the figure would be slightly different.

5. Mr. McKay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated increased output per head since 1938; and to what extent output per head has increased beyond the purchasing power per head of the individual wage earner since 1938, allowing for cost of living, insurance charges and Income Tax.

Sir E. Boyle

Figures for 1938 are much less comprehensive than those now quoted, but it is estimated that output per head of the employed labour force was between 25 and 30 per cent. higher in 1961 than in 1938. The increase during this period in the purchasing power of average weekly wages, after allowing for changes in prices and for insurance contributions and Income Tax, was about the same as the increase in output per head.