Building Industry (Selective Employment Tax)

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1966.

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Photo of Sir Austen Albu Sir Austen Albu , Edmonton

A joint meeting of the Economic Development Committees for Building and Civil Engineering was held on 9th May, at the Chairman's suggestion, to consider the effects of the Selective Employment Tax. We expect to receive their views very soon.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Would the hon. Gentleman consider discussing with the "little Neddy" the problems created for firms undertaking fixed-price contracts in the building industry which may take several years to complete, because they have been considerably incensed by the Selective Employment Tax?

Photo of Sir Austen Albu Sir Austen Albu , Edmonton

We have no evidence of their being incensed. I have no doubt that the "little Neddy" will consider matters of the kind to which he refers.

Photo of Mr David Webster Mr David Webster , Weston-Super-Mare

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many firms entered into fixed-price contracts to assist the Government to try to stabilise prices and that they will be reluctant to do so again if this is how they are treated?

Photo of Sir Austen Albu Sir Austen Albu , Edmonton

Of course, that is on the assumption that there is no possibility of increasing efficiency in the industry, and that I very much doubt.