Selective Employment Tax

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West 12:00 am, 23rd January 1967

asked the Minister of Health how much he has allocated to regional hospital boards to meet rises in the price of fuel due to Selective Employment Tax.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

I regret that the information is not available separately. Allocations to regional hospital boards for 1966–67 have been increased by about £430,000 to cover the increased fuel tax and the effect of Selective Employment Tax on contracts for goods and services of all kinds.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that this will not be absorbed by making cuts in other forms of hospital expenditure?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

Yes, Sir. The purpose of the £500,000 for the whole of Great Britain is to meet the increased costs which hospitals are experiencing as a result of the increased tax and the S.E.T.

Photo of Miss Joan Vickers Miss Joan Vickers , Plymouth, Devonport

Will the Minister deal with this problem on a regional basis? Does he realise that in the West Country we have to pay far more for fuel than does any other part of Great Britain? It is essential that the problem should be considered on a regional basis in future.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

I think that the hon. Lady will find that the differential costs of fuel are taken into account anyhow—and have been for some time—in determining regional boards' allocations.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

asked the Minister of Health what additional sum he has allocated to the hospital building programme to meet the cost of the Selective Employment Tax.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

£500,000 in 1966–67 to meet certain identifiable effects of the tax.

Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Willesden West

Does that sum cover the tremendous amount of extra work which the departments of the National Health Service, regional hospital boards and surveyors and architects have had to put in in making fresh adjustments? Will this alter the timetable of building? Can my right hon. Friend say whether the schemes now included in the first quinquennium will still be carried out in that period?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

This will not alter the timetable. I am sure that there will be no delay in hospital building as a result of this. It is not easy to be precise about the effect of this tax, because this is only one factor which can affect building, costs. Other measures introduced by the Government should have an offsetting effect.

Photo of Mrs Jill Knight Mrs Jill Knight , Birmingham, Edgbaston

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether nearly £1 million will be allocated to meet the Selective Employment Tax, or has he been talking about the same £500,000 twice?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Robinson Mr Kenneth Robinson , St Pancras North

No, Sir; there are two figures of £500,000. One is revenue and the other capital. The great bulk of the revenue figure is to meet the costs not of S.E.T. but of increased fuel tax.