Wage Rates

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Productivity – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , West Derbyshire 12:00, 4 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) what has been the average rise of wage rates during the last six months in the private sector of industry and services;

(2) what has been the average rate of increase in wage rates in the last six months in the public sector of industry and public services.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster

Separate indices of wage rates are published for 18 major groups of industries based on the Standard Industrial Classification. This classification does not, however, distinguish between the private and public sectors as such.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , West Derbyshire

I thank the Minister for that most unhelpful reply. Would he not agree that we had the greatest number of wage rises in the past six months in the public sector? Does this not go well over the norm set by his right hon. Friend and is it not now evident that her policy is completely in tatters?

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster

I would not accept that and the hon. Gentleman must not allow himself to be misled into drawing conclusions from one or two well publicised settlements in the public sector which do not necessarily reflect a movement in earnings.

Photo of Mr William Molloy Mr William Molloy , Ealing North

Can my hon. Friend say whether he intends to have discussions with the Secretary of State for Social Services about the very low wage structure of the nursing profession?

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster

That is not a matter for me.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

The Minister was asked a very serious question by my hon. Friend to which I do not think he has replied Can he say whether the movement of these two sectors in the last two months have been in advance of the Government's norm?

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster

The Question related to wage rates—the policy concerns itself primarily with earnings.