HC Deb 05 April 1965 vol 710 cc11-2W
71. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour how many known increases in wages and salaries have taken place since October, 1964; how many people were affected; what was the total annual cost; by how much per cent. this has increased the national wage and salary bill; what are the approximate figures for the wage and salary claims now pending; to what extent the granting of these will put up the cost of living; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gunter

Between 1st November, 1964, and 31st March, 1965, there were some 320 changes in wage rates affecting about 5¼ million workers at a cost of £2½ million per week. Many of these changes were negotiated before November, and include adjustments to cost of living sliding scales. It is estimated that the percentage increase in the Index of Weekly Wage Rates for all manual workers during the four month period to end February was 1.6 per cent. and the corresponding increase in the Index of Hourly Wage Rates was 2.3 per cent. Comparable information for salaries is not available, but I have knowledge of 21 salary increases negotiated between November and March covering 692,000 workers.

I have information of 32 wage claims covering about 1,365,000 manual workers, and 27 claims for 1,450,000 salaried workers.

It is not possible, nor would it be useful to give figures for these. The effect of the settlement of the claims on the cost of living will depend on the extent to which increases granted can be balanced by increased efficiency so that costs are kept down.