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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

The Cost of Building

The Cost of Building.

But it is said the cost of building has increased. Now refer to pages 12 and 13 the Parliamentary return bore referred to and it will be found that the Arbitration Act has increased carpenters' wages very little—less perhaps than those in most other trades. On page 12 you will find the award rates with regard to builders and general labourers. Compare these with the rates prevailing when the Act came into force and I confidently assert that the increase in rent of a worker's cottage due to increases in wages paid to all those employed in building it is not 4d per week.

It is true building materials are dearer, but investigate the causes and it will be found that they are many, e.g. greater demands, more combination and less cutting competition among the suppliers of timber and other building material; increased cost of obtaining timber owing to the forests becoming more and more remote; increased royalties asked by forest owners-and to a small extent increased wages. But express in the form of increased rent of a worker's home, the increased cost of it due to these increased wages of every class, and you will find that euch increased rent is measured by a few pence.