§ 95. Mr. Millan
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why the index figure for housing, as shown in the Ministry of Labour Gazette, stands at an all-time record of 1138 for April, 1964; whether he will state the comparable figure for April, 1952; and what are the reasons for the increase.
§ Mr. Corfield
Because of changes in January, 1956, in the composition of the housing group of the index of rent prices it is not possible to give a comparable figure for April, 1952. The comparable figure for January, 1956, was 71T. Taking January, 1956, as 100 the figure for the rent and rates group for April, 1952, was 86.6. The index covers owner occupiers as well as tenants of local authority and privately rented houses and it takes account of expenditure on rates, on maintenance and decorations as well as rents and rent equivalents for owner-occupiers. The cost of providing and maintaining housing of all kinds has gone up over the past 12 years for many reasons, including the increased cost of labour and materials and pressure of demand arising from a growing population and higher living standards.