HC Deb 13 February 1984 vol 54 c69W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish figures for 1960, 1970, 1980 and for the latest date available for a married man with two children earning average male annual earnings, showing the length of time, after taking into account income tax liability and national insurance contribution, necessary to pay for each of the following items: 1 lb. beef sirloin, 1 lb. fresh cod fillets, an 800g sliced loaf, one pint of fresh milk, 1 lb. pork, 1 lb. back bacon, 1 lb. sugar, 1 lb. butter, one dozen eggs and 14 lb. potatoes.

Mr. Peter Rees

The information requested is provided in the following table (figures for 1960 are not available). The calculations, presented in minutes, are based on average male (over 21) weekly earnings in all occupations and all industries and services, excluding those whose pay was affected by absence, in April of each year (taken from the New Earnings Survey). For the tax computations it has been assumed that the two children are under the age of 11. The man is taken to be non-contracted-out for national insurance contributions purposes while the income tax figure assumes no allowances other than personal allowance and child tax allowances. Account has also been taken of family allowance and, in later years, child benefit in order to permit valid comparisons. The figures for average hours worked, needed to derive the earnings per minute figures used in the calculations, are also drawn from new earnings survey results. The price data comes from information collected for the RPI.

Working time (minutes)
April of each year
1970 1980 1983
1 lb. beef sirloin 47.5 55.8 52.2
1 lb. fresh cod (fillets) 23.0 27.9 23.9
800g sliced loaf (wrapped) 9.9 8.4 7.2
1 pint fresh milk 5.0 4.3 4.0
1 lb. pork loin (with bone) 36.1 28.7 23.0
1 lb. back bacon (smoked) 36.2 31.1 27.4
1 lb. sugar 4.1 4.0 4.0
1 lb. butter 18.4 19.5 17.2
I dozen eggs (size 4) *na 16.8 12.5
14 lb. potatoes 44.1 25.0 19.8
* Eggs were graded in a different manner in 1970.