We seem to spend every penny we earn

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Sir: In the early Fifties, the Manchester Guardian published the results of a survey of family incomes and their budgeted expenditure. This was later published in a booklet. The family incomes, which were probably not much above the pre-war incomes of similar families, ranged from a £600 a year clergyman to a £2,500 a year senior company executive.

I was a £350 a year clerk at the time. Each family set out in quite precise detail its weekly or monthly budgets, and I remember it was interesting to see that no family's budget, even with the higher salaries, contained spare cash with which to accumulate capital.

I wonder whether the offensively high salaries of the heads of the privatised utilities are really only the equivalent of the £2,500 of 1954 and mainly spent on routine items; and are not, as might seem to be the case, sufficient upon which to base new financial dynasties.

Yours faithfully,

David Turner

Berkhamsted,

Hertfordshire

7 February

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