§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Labour if he will now give the total number of wage earners who have received income increases during the period of severe restraint; by how much these increases have changed the average level of rates and earnings of those affected; and what is the corresponding figure for salary earners.
§ Mr. Hattersley
It is estimated that during January, 1967, increases in the basic full-time weekly rates of wages or in the minimum entitlements of nearly 2.9 million manual workers took effect. Over three-quarters of this total were in engineering where workers whose earnings were above the new minimum earnings levels were not entitled to an increase. In the same period, the index of hourly rates of wages in all industries and services, which reflects changes in basic rates whether or not they affect actual pay, rose from 169.8 to 170.9 (base 31st January, 1956 = 100). The figures for February will be published shortly in the Ministry of Labour Gazette. Corresponding information on salary scales cannot be given because so many of these are determined individually.
The monthly earnings inquiries, covering both wages and salaries, show an increase between December, 1966, and January, 1967, of 1 per cent., which is no more than the normal seasonal increase.