asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, given an annual rate of inflation of 25 per cent., and the present rate of direct taxation, what would be the gross earnings necessary for a man with two children to have an income of: (a) £2,000, (b) £3,000, (c) £4,000, and (d) £5,000 net a year in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd July 1975: Vol. 894, c. 520], gave the following answer:The figures are as follows:ment of low back pain and on the follow-up of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The estimated cost of this work for 1975–76 is £73,000. In addition, work on communication and community care in the management of physical disability associated with rheumatic disease is due to start in October. The work will last for three years and cost a total of £15,400.The greater part of research work in the field of rheumatism and arthritis is, however, biomedical and as such is dealt with by the Medical Research Council. The council cannot isolate a figure for research expenditure in this field as much basic research in fields such as immunology and biochemistry may be relevant to the knowledge of these disorders. Major research programmes are in pro gress at its Rheumatism Unit at Taplow, a substantial proportion of the cost of which is borne by my Department, and at the Clinical Research Centre, and two other council establishments are pursuing relevant studies. In addition one of the council's research groups is carrying out basic research related to rheumatism and the council has awarded a number of programme and project grants for work in this field in university departments and elsewhere.A substantial contribution to research is made also by the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council, the National Fund for Research in Crippling Diseases and other charities which support arthritis research. Drug companies also have their own research programmes.Research has necessarily to be conducted on a broad front in view of the many different systems involved and the variety of underlying pathological processes. However the advent of joint replacement procedures has brought relief to large numbers of patients with arthritis of the hip and similar operations for other joints, particularly the knee, are being investigated. In the drug field, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic drugs have brought considerable advances and research to improve the specificity of drug treatments is continuing. There is thus on both the medical and surgical fronts hope that new discoveries and the application of existing techniques will in time lead to improvements in the treatment available to arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.