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Cost-Of-Living Index Figures (Rent)

Volume 237: debated on Thursday 3 April 1930

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the decrease in the number of controlled houses, the large number of working men who have been compelled to purchase houses, and the large number of working men who rent rooms in houses not within the Rent Restriction Acts, she will take the necessary steps to obtain the average rent now being paid by the working classes and revise the index figure from March of this year accordingly?

As no comparative statistics are available for July, 1914, the results of an inquiry into average rent paid by working-class families could not be utilised for the purpose of the present series of official cost-of-living index figures. For the purpose of those figures careful inquiries are regularly made as to the increases over pre-War rents of houses, and I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the "Ministry of Labour Gazette" for December, 1928, on page 435 of which is an article explaining the system by which the statistics are compiled. The figures there given have been regularly revised, in accordance with the information collected as to the position at subsequent dates, but the system of compilation has remained unaltered. I am afraid it is impracticable to include, within the scope of the present index figures, particulars of houses bought by workmen, or of sub-let rooms not subject to the Rent Restrictions Act, since there are no corresponding data for July, 1914.