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Social Contract

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if it is Her Majesty's Government's policy that, in calculating the increase in pay needed to cover the past increases in the cost of living, negotiations should take into account threshold payments to comply with the social contract.

The TUC guidelines on pay, which have been welcomed by the Government, include a recommendation to unions to claim compensation for the rise in the cost of living since the last settlement, taking into account that those people covered by threshold arrangements will already have received some compensation for current price increases.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will discuss with the TUC General Council and leading branch and district union officials the degree of support being given to the social contract.

Average gross weekly earnings (£)Percentage increase in average gross weekly earnings
1972197319741972–731973–74
£££Per cent.Per cent.
Full-time men (aged 21 and over)
Central South West England33·5038·80Not available15·9Not available
DorsetNot available44·50 Not available
Somerset45·70
Wiltshire45·10
England and Wales36·9042·0047·9013·913·9
Great Britain36·7041·9047·7014·113·9
Full-time women (aged 18 and over)
Central South West England19·2021·80Not available13·6Not available
DorsetNot available25·90Not available
Somerset26·30
Wiltshire25·60
England and Wales20·6023·2027·1012·316·9
Great Britain20·5023·1026·9012·416·8
The estimates are given to the nearest l0p and are subject to sampling errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what were the percentage increases in total household income in the central South-Western region of England in 1973 and 1974; and what were the corresponding figures for (i) England and Wales (ii) the United Kingdom as a whole.

From the Family Expenditure Survey it is estimated that total household income in the South-West Region was 17 per cent. higher in 1973 than in 1972. For both England and

My right hon. Friend has had frequent discussions with the TUC and trade union leaders about the operation of the social contract and will continue to do so.