HC Deb 23 April 1968 vol 763 cc26-7W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister of Labour whether she will state the statutory minima which are readily available of the six wages councils with the lowest minima of pay to male workers and the respective rates; and on the basis of the Budget proposals, the effects of devaluation, the abolition of the three waiting days, and the prescription charges, rent, rate, fuel and fares increases already announced, by how much he estimates that these workers' real income will be reduced in 1968.

Mr. Hattersley

At 11th April, 1968, the six wages councils providing for the lowest adult basic male rate for a normal working week were:

s. d.
Laundry 189 0
Licensed Non-Residential Establishment 187 0
Coffin Furniture and Cerement Making 183 9
Sack and Bag 182 0
Cotton Waste Reclamation 174 3
Button Manufacturing 168 0

These rates, which represent statutory minima and not average earnings, do not offer a basis for direct comparisons owing to the wide variations between Councils in the proportion of workers to whom the lowest rate is applicable.

For the reasons already stated in reply to a similar Question from my hon. Friend on 8th April, it is not possible to provide the estimates requested in the last part of his Question.—[Vol. 762, c. 179.]