§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on how the living standards, environment, quality of life and general prospects of(a) the retired in Britain, (b) others in the country and (c) their European counterparts have fared since 1979.
§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 25 June 1990]: The improvement in living standards since 1979 is demonstrated by a number of indicators. For example, real household disposable income per head rose by 26 per cent. between 1979 and 1989. The retired have shared in this prosperity. The average increase in pensioners' total net incomes was 31 per cent. over and above inflation between 1979 and 1987, which is the latest date for which information is available.
Directly comparable data for other European countries are not available. However, real output per head in the United Kingdom has risen faster since 1979 than in many other Europan countries, including France and Germany.
The rising expectation of life, the fall in infant mortality and improvement in housing standards are set out, together with a range of other indicators, in "Social Trends" and "Regional Trends". Both publications also contain some comparisons with other European countries. Copies are available in the Library of the House.