asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs how the universal application in the United Kingdom of the principle of equal pay for women for equal work will affect the volume of purchasing power in relation to the volume of goods and services available for consumption, while the 3½ per cent. norm of incomes increase is maintained.
The cost of equal pay depends on the extent to which its introduction affects women's pay as a whole and on the method and speed of implementation.
To what extent is the hon. Gentleman asking the Prices and Incomes Board to give priority to the claims of women for equal pay when the Board makes recommendations on wage increases and other matters referred to it?
This matter is under discussion by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, the T.U.C. and the Confederation of British Industry. We must await their conclusions.