Did my Dad have more from Labour Past?

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!


  1. Hi Alwyn

    There is now a website that actually offers direct comparisons, here. This shows that £15 is now roughly equal to £600 in terms of GDP share (the best measure, and not affected by inflation) - not quite as generous but still very fair and well above average.

    Meanwhile £30 in 1872 was worth c. £35,000 today, which is certainly not bad!

    Sadly it doesn't reach back to 1728.

    Hope that's of interest.

  2. Should that not be £240 in 2000 and £480 in 2010? Not that good a wage by todays standards!