Oral Answers to Questions — Wages and Prices.

– in the House of Commons on 12th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

asked the Minister of Labour what is the aggregate increase in weekly wage rates as at the end of the last convenient week in the present year, and the available figures for the corresponding week in the two preceding years; and whether the advance in weekly wage rates now equals the rise in the official index of the cost of living since the outbreak of the war?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

On the basis of such information as is available to my Department, relating mainly to rates of wages fixed by statutory orders or by collective agreements between organisations of employers and workers, it is estimated that the average increase in weekly full-time rates of wages since the beginning of the war was about 27 per cent. at the end of January, 1942, as compared with about 18 per cent. at the end of january, 1941, and about 5 or 6 per cent. at the end of January, 1940. The official cost of living index figure at 1st February, 1942, was approximately 29 per cent. higher than at 1st September, 1939.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Do these figures relate to wage rates or weekly earnings?

Photo of Mr Walter Higgs Mr Walter Higgs , Birmingham West

Do the figures include increased earnings due to piece work?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

No, they are the increase in rates.