HC Deb 12 March 1984 vol 56 cc49-51W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of his weekly wage a married man with two children, earning average male manual earnings, would spend on food for each of the years 1960, 1970, 1980 and for the latest date available.

Mr. Peter Rees

This information is not available in the form requested. Estimates of average expenditure on food as a proportion of total spending are available in the family expenditure survey and are as follows. These figures relate to households comprising a married couple with two children where the head of household is a manual employee with normal earnings within the range 10 per cent. above and 10 per cent. below average male manual earnings. Figures for earlier years are not available on this basis.

Expenditure on food as a percentage of total spending
1980 24.6
1982 26.4

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 manual earnings, showing the length of time, after taking into account income tax liability and national insurance contribution, necessary to pay for each of one pint of fresh milk, one pint of beer, 20 cigarettes per day, the weekly rent of a three-bedroomed council house and the running costs of a medium-sized car.

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) manual weekly earnings in 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 not-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, except where specified otherwise, come from information collected for the RPI.

Working Time (Minutes)*
1970 1980 1983
April of each year
1 pint of fresh milk 5.8 4.9 4.8
1 pint of beer 18.2 13.5 13.6
20 cigarettes 33.2 19.2 22.7

1970 1980 1983
April of each year
Weekly rent of three bedroomed council dwellings 289.8 242.7 336.4
Running costs of medium-sized car 348.0 312.1 374.5


* The calculations, based on average male manual earnings, are not consistent with those provided in an earlier reply on 13 February which were, as requested, derived from average earnings in all occupations statistics.

From CIPFA housing rents statistics.

Family expenditure survey data adjusted to an April basis using the relevant component of the RPI.