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Cost Of Living

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that the Government of Cyprus has been unable, either by repression or by constructive effort, to calm the discontent of the people over the constant fall of real wages, he will now accept the proposals of the trade unions for control of supplies through a council representing all organised classes, for the taxation of capital and for the increase of income tax on large incomes in order to subsidise foodstuffs and thus to reduce the cost of living which is now approximately 360 per cent. over pre-war level?

I do not accept the suggestions underlying this Question. As regards the measures taken by the Cyprus Government to control the cost of living, I would refer to the replies given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs on 13th October and by myself on 3rd November to Questions on this subject. The increase of 360 per cent. in the cost of living which the hon. Member quotes is much exaggerated, the official figure being 132 per cent. The Cyprus Government have invited the trade unions to provide representatives on all Advisory Committees appointed to deal with the cost of living. But the trade unions have recently declined to do so unless the Committees are given complete executive control—a step which would be manifestly inconsistent with the responsibilities of the Government to the community.