Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cost of Living Index.

5.

andMr. R. Burke asked the Taoiseach if he will give the prices of the basic items in the cost of living index for the years 1957, 1961, 1966 and 1971.

In introducing the present consumer price index in November, 1968, changes were made in the list of items priced and in the set of retail outlets from which price quotations are collected. As a consequence it is not possible to give comparable national average retail prices for individual items for the years specified.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary give them for any particular year?

Apparently this was a new system introduced in 1968. If the Deputy has any specific items in mind I shall be very pleased to get them from the Central Statistics Office.

We have had similar replies in the past to similar questions asking for the basic items that make up the cost of living consumer price index. Could the Parliamentary Secretary not give us this information from 1968 to the latest available date?

I can get these figures at some considerable trouble. I will not be very specific about them but, if the Deputy has any specific items he would like me to search out for him, I will be delighted to let him have them.

Surely the Parliamentary Secretary is aware that a similar question in the past has been answered. The Department must have the figures available up to last year. A similar question was asked about this time 12 months ago.

I have given the Deputy the reply.

Is it true that the reason the Parliamentary Secretary does not want to give them is because they are not favourable?

That is not the fact.

If they are favourable to the Government they are certainly not favourable to the housewife.

If the Deputy has any specific items I will have them searched out, with pleasure.