HC Deb 27 May 1976 vol 912 cc327-8W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the percentage rise in real living standards for employed persons from October 1974 to the most recent date for which figures are available; and what was the comparable percentage figure for a similar period of time ending October 1974.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

Measurement of the real living standards of the working population requires information about taxes paid and numbers employed as well as about movements in earnings and prices, but only the last is comprehensively available on a monthly basis. The answer is therefore given in terms of the relevant half year. Between the second halves of 1974 and 1975 average real take-home pay fell by about 3¼ per cent. having risen 3 per cent. in the previous year. The rise was, of course unsustainable in view of the fall of 2¼ per cent. in real national disposable income over that period associated with the increases in oil and other commodity prices.