When I am not doing politics, my other great passion is family history.
Family historians often have to evaluate documents that deal with money in days gone by.
Was great grandfather generous or not when he bequeathed his youngest daughter £30 in 1872?
Was great, great Grandmother guilty of a major crime when she was hanged for stealing 6d worth of goods in 1728 or was she subject to a barbaric law that used capital punishment for petty crimes?
When Dad worked in the 1960's for £15 a week was he well paid or exploited?
The rule of thumb is to double the value of everything every ten years!
So a wage of £15 in 1960 would be £30 in 1970, £60 in 1980, £120 in 1990, £480 in 2000 and £960 a week in 2010 - a very good wage by today's standards
Only part of the double rule is accounted for by inflation, the other part is accounted for in greater expectations: Indoor toilets, television, a home computer etc. Things that my ancestors never had but, one would be considered very poor for not having today.
When the Labour Party boasts that it has doubled the funding of the Welsh Assembly over the past ten years, as a badge of honour, what they are really saying is that they give as much today to the Assembly as they gave ten years ago – no more, no less!