§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish figures for 1978, 1979 and 1980 for a married man with two children earning average male manual earnings, showing the length of time worked, 445W after taking into account income tax liability and national insurance contributions, necessary to pay for each of the following items: weekly rent of a three-bedroomed council dwelling, mortgage repayment on a newly-built three-bedroomed semi-detached house, 3 lbs. of beef sirloin, 2 lbs. of fresh cod, 14 lbs. of potatoes, a large loaf, a half pound of tea, a quart of fresh milk, 5 cwt. of best coal, 5 gallons of petrol, a weekly season ticket between Surbiton and London, postage on five letters, a telegram of 12 words, a gentleman's haircut, 20 cigarettes, a pint of beer and a bottle of whisky.
§ Mr. Brittan
[pursuant to his reply, 10 February 1981, c. 302–3]: The following is the information requested calculated in minutes, based on average retail prices at mid-October each year unless otherwise stated. I regret that information on a gentleman's haircut is not available.
1978 1979 1980 Average weekly rent of a three-bedroom council dwelling (April figures) 245.3 219.3 227.0 Repayment in first month of 25-years mortgage, based on average advance on new dwelling at mortgage completion (October figures) 4,094.5 4,509.8 5,571.0 3 lbs. of beef sirloin (without bone): home killed, first quality 203.1 202.6 182.9 2 lbs. of fresh cod fillets 75.3 70.1 62.6 14 lbs. of potatoes—white 22.6 29.3 21.1 800g wrapped and sliced white wheat bread 10.5 9.8 9.6 ½ lb of medium quality tea 18.0 15.0 14.3 Quart of fresh milk 9.8 9.8 9.5 250kg of higher quality household coal✶ 532.5 529.8 562.3 5 gallons of 4-star petrol 150.9 191.0 179.4 Postage on five letters (first class) 17.7 16.3 16.7 20 filter tip cigarettes (recommended price)† 22.4 21.9 20.1 1 pint of beer, bottled and canned 15.7 15.5 15.4 1 bottle of whisky (based on a 75cl bottle at 40 per cent. alcohol by volume for 1980, and on a 26⅔ fl. oz. bottle containing spirit of equivalent alcoholic strength (70° proof) for earlier years) 175.2 158.5 153.2 Weekly season ticket between Surbiton and London 226.7 204.3 205.8 12 word telegram 65.6 57.9 70.4 ✶ The kinds of coal available for domestic supplies vary according to the district. The prices given are the averages for seven large towns. † In some shops the price was between 2p and 3p lower on a packet of 20.