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Pay And Prices

Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish figures for 1950, 1964 and 1976 for a married man with no children earning a salary equal to that of a Permanent Secretary, the Prime Minister, the Chairman of British Railways, the Chairman of Cable and Wireless, a motor industry worker receiving the average earnings for that industry and a farm worker receiving the average earnings for agriculture workers, showing the length of time, after taking into account income tax liability and national insurance contribution, necessary to pay for each of the following items: (a) three pounds of beef sirloin, (b) two pounds of fresh cod, (c) 14 pounds of potatoes, (d) a large loaf. (e) a half pound of tea, (f) a pint of fresh milk, (g) one pound of butter, (h) five hundredweight of best coal, (i) five gallons of petrol, (j) a weekly season ticket between Surbiton and London, (k) postage on five letters, (l) a telegram of 12 words, (m) 20 cigarettes, (n) a pint of beer and (o) a bottle of whisky.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 25th March 1977; Vol. 928, c. 723], gave the following information:The estimates given in the following table involve considerable uncertainties. In particular, the standard hours worked, which have been assumed for the first four categories in the absence of other information, are likely in some cases to be much lower than actual hours worked.

APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF MINUTES WORK REQUIRED TO PAY FOR VARIOUS CONSUMER ITEMS
For a married man with no children, at various levels of salary or gross earnings, after allowing for income tax liability and national insurance contribution

Salary or gross earnings equal to those of

A Permanent Secretary

The Prime Minister

The Chairman of British Rail

Item

*

1950

1964

1976

1950

1964

1976

1950

1964

1976

3 lbs. of beef sirloin (without bone)162252101750121847
2 lbs. of fresh cod fillets771955186517
14 lbs of potatoes452134203419
Large loaf (not wrapped or sliced) per 1? lb.113113112
½ lb. of tea434333333
1 pint of fresh milk111111111
1 lb. of butter546336436
5 cwts. of coal (high quality)575812737431234446115
5 gallons of petrol382651252049302146
1 monthly season ticket, Surbiton to Victoria ¶999719965731927777179
Postage on 5 letters325214214
1 telegram of twelve words362124212419
20 cigarettes856546645
1 pint of beer323213213
1 bottle of whisky814950533749633945

Salary or gross earnings equal to those of

The Chairman of Cable & Wireless

A motor industry worker§

An agricultural worker

Item

*

1950

1964

1976

1950

1964

1976

1950

1964

1976

3 lbs. of beef sirloin (without bone)232257107154202187279293
2 lbs of fresh cod fillets117215048758787108
14 lbs. of potatoes65232933815159118
Large loaf (not wrapped or sliced) per 1¾ lb2138910131615
½ lb. of tea634272414484320
1 pint of fresh milk11176512107
1 lb. of butter747332925585336
5 cwts. of coal (high quality)8258140385399498673722723
5 gallons of petrol552656258182199450330289
1 monthly season ticket, Surbiton to Victoria ¶144962186736697771,1761,2101,127
Postage on 5 letters425171118302026
1 telegram of twelve words45242138843669122
20 cigarettes1256553723976833
1 pint of beer423191212332217
1 bottle of whisky1184955551339197963612286

Notes:

* No allowances have been made for possible changes in quality over the period in question.

† A working week of 37 hours for 1950 and 1964 and 36 hours for 1976 has been assumed for these categories.

‡ Calculations for this category have been made on the basis of a working week of 37 hours in 1950, 22·2 hours (3 days) in 1964 and 25·2 hours (3½ days) in 1976.

§ Based on average weekly earnings and hours of work of full-time manual men (aged 21 and over) employed in motor vehicle manufacture in the United Kingdom.

║ Based on average weekly earnings and hours of work of full-time males (aged 20 and over) employed in agriculture in Great Britain.

¶ Weekly data not available for 1950 and 1964.