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Personal Incomes

Volume 892: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what increase in gross income would be required on 1st May 1975 to maintain the real disposable income of a married man with two children under 11 years of age, taking account of payments of tax, national insurance and 5 per cent. superannuation fund contributions, who, on 1st May 1974 earned (a) £30 per week and (b) the average industrial earnings at that date, respectively.

Assuming that the man was not contracted out of the graduated pension scheme the figures are as follows:

Gross weekly earnings in May 1974Disposable income*Approximate increase in gross income required to maintain (2) in real terms
* Disposable income is earnings plus family allowances, less tax, national insurance contributions and superannuation contributions.
† The calculations take account of the increase in the general index of retail prices between 21st May 1974 and 15th April 1975, the latest date for which the index is available. 1974–75 rates of tax have been assumed in column (2) and 1975–76 rates for column (3).
‡ Estimated average earnings of full-time adult male manual workers in manufacturing and certain other industries at May 1974.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish from international sources available to him a table showing the top 20 countries in order of income per head of population in 1974.

The following estimates of gross national product (GNP) at market prices in 1972 per head of population, expressed in terms of United States dollars, have been published by the World Bank. Later figures are not available at present in the international sources. The rates of exchange for conversion to United States dollars from national currencies do not necessarily reflect differences in relative internal purchasing power. There are special difficulties in producing comparable estimates for centrally planned economies, where national accounts are compiled on the basis of the system of material product balances. Estimates of GNP for these countries on a comparable basis have been made by the World Bank, but more than usual caution in the use of the figures is advised.The list relates only to countries with a population of 1 million or more.

CountryGNP per hed 1972
US $
United States5,590
United Kingdom2,600
New Zealand2,560
German Democratic Republic2,100
Puerto Rico2,050
Source: World Bank Atlas (World Bank, 1974)