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Telephone Bills

Volume 299: debated on Monday 27 October 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate she has made of the real level of average household telephone bills in Great Britain as a whole and for each region of Great Britain in each year since 1978. [12832]

The first table gives an index of BT's telephone charges for the period of 1978–79 to 1988–89, since values for these years are not readily available. From 1988–89, BT started providing values for the median residential bill, which unlike the first set of figures relates to actual use and provides the most accurate view of an average bill. Values for these for 1988 to 1996 are shown in the second table. Statistics for each region of Great Britain are not available. Figures for other operators are not available.

1. Index of quarterly telephone charges including VAT for the period 1978–79 to 1988–89
YearGreat Britain
1978–79100
1979–8092.6
1980–81102.4
1981–82110.9
1982–83110.2
1983–84105.6
1984–85104.9
1985–86105.3
1986–87106.5
1987–88104.4
1988–8999.1

2. Quarterly median residential bill. Value in £ since 1989–90,
excluding VAT, deflated by the all items retail prices index and
expressed in 1995–96 prices

£

1989–9047.64
1990–9148.15
1991–9248.44
1992–9348.99
1993–9449.38
1994–9550.55
1995–9648.67
1996–9747.69

The above figures make it look as if prices have not changed in real terms since the late 1980s. These figures do not however take account of increased use of the telephone throughout the period.