Oral Answers to Questions — Cost of Living Advisory Committee

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Minister of Labour when he expects the Advisory Committee on the Cost of Living Index to make a report.

Mr. Lee:

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Digby) on 17th July.

Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South

Will the hon. Gentleman say when this Committee is going to meet next, and can he give me an answer to my original Question?

Mr. Lee:

I think that I have indicated that they have made a report, and that report is being considered.

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Govan

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Interim Report of the Cost of Living Advisory Committee includes a separate examination of the expenditure necessary and normally incurred by those whose income approximately corresponds to that of those drawing National Assistance.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

asked the Minister of Labour when the Cost of Living Advisory Committee last met; and what recommendations it has recently made to him respecting the compilation of a reliable index.

Mr. Lee:

The Cost of Living Advisory Committee last met on 24th May. A technical committee, which is advising the main Committee on various technical questions, has met six times since then, the last meeting being held on 20th July. I would ask hon. Members to await the publication of the Interim Report by the Cost of Living Advisory Committee.

Photo of Mr Jack Browne Mr Jack Browne , Glasgow Govan

Is the Minister aware that food, clothing, fuel and light alone represent almost 80 per cent. of the cost of living of the old age pensioners' budget, whereas it represents only approximately 56 per cent. of the Cost of Living Index? Will the Minister bear in mind that any future cost of living index should not include, as it does at present, such items as perambulators, children's clothing, gramophone records, motor cycle licences, vacuum cleaners and petrol, because they do not truly reflect the cost of living of old age pensioners and other people in similar circumstances?

Mr. Lee:

Yes, but because perambulators may long since have been finished with in the case of the hon. Member, it does not follow that that is the case with everybody. I trust that the hon. Member and everybody else will wait for the Interim Report.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

When is the Interim Report likely to be made available?